|Retama's Two Juvenile Stakes Serve
as Breeders' Cup Preps
(Thursday, October 22, 2009)
- (By GREG MELIKOV) A pair of Retama Park’s $100,000
stakes races on the turf for two-year-olds on Saturday is serving
as preps for the Breeders’ Cup next month. Trainer Mike Maker
shipped in a pair of Kitten’s Joy juveniles hoping their performances
will propel them to the 26th Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park.
How serious are the owners-breeders, Ken and Sarah Ramsey? The horses,
which arrived Tuesday morning from Louisville, were supplemented
for $6,000 each. And Julien Leparoux is flying in to ride both promising
The jockey, number two in earnings among all U.S.-based jockeys
for the year through October 19 with $14.4 million, is familiar
with Lisa’s Kitten. He rode her to victory by three-quarters
of a length in a field of eight on September 25 at Belmont, covering
the 1 1/16 miles on the grass in 1:43. The filly trailed by 5 ½
lengths after six furlongs, launched her rally entering the stretch,
made up 3 ½ lengths and won going away.
Lisa’s Kitten will break from the 9 post in the M2 Technology
La Senorita at a mile on the grass, the same distance as the Breeders'
Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on November 6. Her main opposition in
the 12-filly field will come from Shotgun Gulch, undefeated in two
sprints at Remington Park; C C’s Pal, winner of two straight
by more than 10 lengths at Retama; and three others that have scored
on the grass.
Leparoux also will climb aboard Kera’s Kitten, breaking from
post 5, in the SKYY El Joven for colts and geldings at a mile on
the grass, the same distance as the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.
He replaces Miguel Mena, who was aboard the colt when he defeated
seven others and won by a length on September 21 going wire-to-wire
at Kentucky Downs. He covered the six furlongs in 1:14 on a soft
Among the chief challengers in the 12-horse field are four that
scored on the grass: geldings B’wanagoldmine and Nocknonheavensgate,
and colts Prince Eddington and McKenna’s Justice.
The Ramseys bred and raced Kitten’s Joy, six for eight in
2004 en route to winning the Eclipse Award for top male turf runner
as a three-year-old. Unfortunately, the son of El Prado came up
1 ¾ lengths short, behind Better Talk Now, in the Breeders;
Cup Turf (Gr. IT) at Lone Star Park that year.