Stood 2009 for $20,000 at Ramsey Farm, Ky.
Kitten's Joy is the stallion of the week, for the week ended Sunday, Oct. 25. Through the end of the week, the champion racehorse was ranked No. 2 on the freshman sire list by progeny earnings, and he led all new sires at week's end with 5 stakes winners. All told, Kitten's Joy is represented by 20 juvenile winners, most of whom have relished the mile-plus maiden specials, allowances, and stakes of fall racing, especially on turf.
The 8-year-old son of El Prado had a weekend to remember, with 3 new first-crop 2-year-old stakes winners coming on Saturday and Sunday. All were bred and owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the owner and breeder of Kitten's Joy, and trained my Mike Maker, and each's stakes win came over the grass.
The Ramseys began the weekend onslaught by dispatching the highly regarded colt Kera's Kitten and the filly Lisa's Kitten to Retama Park for a pair of "hundred-granders" over a mile-plus Saturday. The colt won by 5, easily, and the filly won by a length, earning both a trip to Santa Anita for the Breeders' Cup juvenile turf races. On Sunday, the Ramseys and trainer Maker, who obviously have a racing calendar noting every juvenile turf stakes in the country at a mile or over, sent Dean's Kitten out to win the Vision Stakes over Belmont's turf course. In 3rd in the same race was Shrimp Dancer, another son of Kitten's Joy.
They join Kitten's Joy's previous two stakes winners, William's Kitten, who won the $148,500 Sunday Silence Stakes at Louisiana Downs by almost 5 lengths on dirt at 1 1/16 miles; and the Puerto Rican stakes winner Sweet Kitten, a sprinter.
As a son of the recently deceased El Prado, Kitten's Joy is emerging as that sire's second major stallion son, following on the heels of Medaglia d'Oro, whose first crop is only 3 in 2009 and includes classic winner Rachel Alexandra.
Both Kitten's Joy and Medaglia d'Oro were top-rate runners who won G1s at 1 1/4 miles and stayed up to 1 1/2 miles (KJ won a G1 at the trip, MDO was 2nd in the G1 Belmont) and were finished 3-year-olds, although both also won at 4 and MDO won a G1 at 5, too.
Medaglia d'Oro's first-crop 2-year-olds developed as he did and became better at 3 than 2, and it's easy to make the same projections for the Kitten's Joys, who to this point are showing the ability to handle multiple surfaces and distances, too, although their turf exploits prove the adage that the apples haven't fallen too far from the tree.