Bolstered by homebred Stephanie’s Kitten, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, Ken and Sarah Ramsey are the first recipients of the John Deere Award as outstanding breeders of the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Challenge series and the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
The John Deere Award, presented by Breeders’ Cup Limited and NTRA Advantage, emphasizes the contribution of breeders to the Breeders’ Cup program. The industry’s breeders fund the purses for the World Championships through annual nominations of foals and stallions.
The John Deere Award winner was awarded to the breeder who received the highest number of points based upon graded/group first-place finishes in the 68 Breeders’ Cup Challenge races and the 15 Breeders’ Cup World Championships races held this year. In an extremely close competition, the Ramseys finished with 22 points, just two points ahead of five breeders all with 20 points each: Gregg Anderson, Adena Springs, Grapestock LLC, Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings and Whisper Hill Farm.
The Ramseys earned their 22 points from victories by the 2-year-old filly Stephanie’s Kitten, who captured the Grade I Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Churchill Downs; and from a triumph by the 5-year-old Holiday for Kitten in the Grade II Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland.
Kitten’s Joy sired both Stephanie’s Kitten and Holiday for Kitten. Stephanie’s Kitten is out of the Catienus mare Unfold the Rose and Holiday for Kitten is out of the Cure the Blues mare Blue Holiday.
“On behalf of myself, my wife Sarah Kathern, our four children—Scott, Jill Jeffrey and Kelly—and all our valued employees, we’re thrilled and honored to receive this award from John Deere,” said Ken Ramsey, whose farm is based in Nicholasville. “We’ve been blessed to breed such a wonderful animal as Kitten’s Joy and to stand him here on our farm. We’re all so proud of him, along with our one other stallion Catienus. We think Kitten’s Joy will be the next great international stallion.
“When Stephanie’s Kitten won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf—with all my family there—knowing we had bred her stallion, bred her mare, and bred the two together, I would say the emotion was higher than when we won the Dubai World Cup with Roses in May.”
NTRA Advantage and John Deere will provide a John Deere TS Gator Utility Vehicle to the Ramseys.
“We were delighted with the extremely competitive results for the inaugural year of the John Deere Award and congratulate the Ramseys on their outstanding success,” said Carter Carnegie, Breeders’ Cup Senior Vice President. “Over the years, John Deere has been a great partner with the Breeders’ Cup and their expanded role in teaming with NTRA Advantage to create this new award has proven to be is a great way to recognize and promote the essential importance of our breeders to the Breeders’ Cup program.”
The John Deere Award point system was based on wins in Challenge/Championships stakes races for U.S and Canadian Grades events and International Group events:
Grade/Group I 10
Grade/Group II 6
Grade/Group III 4
The five breeders finishing in a second place tie with 20 points each were:
Adena Springs –Bourbon Bay – Cougar II Hcp. (gr. III); Celtic New Year, Del Mar Hcp. (gr. II) and Game on Dude, Goodwood Hcp. (gr. I)
Gregg Anderson – Amazombie – Ancient Title Hcp. (gr. I) and Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I)
Grapestock LLC – Regally Ready – Nearctic Stakes (gr. I) and Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (gr. I)
Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings – My Miss Aurelia – Frizette Stakes (gr. I) and Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I)
Whisper Hill Farm -Tizway – Metropolitan Hcp. (gr. I) and Whitney Hcp. (gr. I)