Courtesy of Arlington publicity team:
Nicholasville-based owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey could have multiple top contenders vying for the rich prizes at Arlington’s Racecourse’s International Festival of Racing on August 17.
With Big Blue Kitten under consideration for the signature Arlington Million, the Ramseys’ multiple Grade I winner Stephanie’s Kitten is being considered for the Grade I $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes on the undercard, according to trainer Wayne Catalano.
The homebred daughter of Kitten’s Joy comes off a troubled third at odds of 3-2 in the Grade I Diana Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
“She came out really good. The race doesn’t look like it took too much out of her,” reported Catalano.
After a troublesome beginning, Stephanie’s Kitten was forced to close from last of the five contestants into a dawdling pace. Unable to get to the winner, the bay 4-year-old filly finished a hard-charging third – beaten only half a length by two horses to whom she gave five pounds, each.
“Things didn’t set up right. She didn’t break good and it kind of cost us the race,” her conditioner explained.
Ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, who has ridden the filly in eight of her 13 starts (and five of her seven victories), the winner of the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf looks able to come back in three weeks.
“We are leaning toward Beverly D. with her,” Catalano continued.
The Beverly D. would be a homecoming for the filly, who ran her first two races and broke her maiden at the Arlington Heights oval in the summer of 2011. This time, though, she would be returning a much faster and fitter animal – as proven by her first two starts of 2013 in which she earned the highest two turf route Beyer Speed Figures (100 and 101) of any filly or mare in the country.
As far as her ability to handle the mile and three-sixteenths distance of Arlington’s marquee event for fillies and mares – a sixteenth of a mile farther than she has ever raced – Catalano feels he has reason to be confident. “She went the last eighth in :10 3/5 in the Diana – not too many horses can do that.”