Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s homebred Kitten’s Dumplings, winner of the Edgewood on Kentucky Oaks Day, collected her second stakes win of the Spring Meet when she cruised to a 2 ¼-length victory over Praia in the $113,900 Regret (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.
The Regret, which honors the first filly to win the Kentucky Derby in 1915, was one of five graded stakes races run under the lights Saturday as part of Churchill Downs’ “Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka” nighttime racing program.
Ridden by Joel Rosario and trained by the Spring Meet’s leading trainer Mike Maker, Kitten’s Dumplings completed the 1 1/8 miles on the firm Matt Winn Turf Course in 1:48.41.
Kitten’s Dumplings, a bay daughter of Kitten’s Joy out of the Grand Slam mare Granny Franny, raced near the back of the field while Eden Prairie led the field of 11 3-year-old fillies through fractions of :23, :46.98 and 1:11.72. Odds-on favorite at 3-5, Kitten’s Dumplings moved toward the leaders on the far turn and then swung five-wide entering the stretch. She made the lead nearing the eighth-pole and then drew off with little urging by Rosario.
Kitten’s Dumplings paid $3.40, $2.60 and $2.20. Praia finished well to be second best under Alan Garcia and returned $7.80 and $5.20 with Oscar Party, under Norberto Arroyo Jr., another three-quarters of a length back in third and returning $5.20 to show.
Broken Spell finished fourth and was followed in order by Miss Squeal, Beverage Queen, Seaneen Girl, Abbey Street, Eden Prairie, Miss Lucky Sevens and Intelyhente.
Kitten’s Dumplings collected $66,381 for Saturday’s win and increased her bankroll to $313,262. She has four wins and one second from nine career starts.
The win was the 23rd of the meet for the Ramseys, who are seeking their record-extending 19th leading-owners title at the Louisville racetrack. The record for wins by an owner in a single meet at Churchill Downs is 27, which was set by A.J. Foyt III during the 93-day Spring/Summer Meet of 1984.
Ken Ramsey, owner of Kitten’s Dumplings, winner: “This looks like a Breeders’ Cup filly on down the line. We’ve got several places to go from here. I haven’t nailed it down yet. She looks like a good one.”
Q. You’re leading the owners standings again… “This makes 23 wins. The old record (for a Spring Meet) was 21 and we broke it. Jennie Rees (of the Courier-Journal) told me the record was 27 for a 90-something day meet and this is a 30-something (38) day meet. So, we’re going to try to break the record for all-time. We’ve only got to get five more for 28. We’re after ‘em.” (Note: A.J. Foyt III holds the record for owner wins in a meet with 27 victories during the 93-day Spring/Summer Meet in 1984.)
Mike Maker, trainer of Kitten’s Dumplings, winner: “The sky’s the limit. We’ve always had high hopes for her. She’s sometimes her own worst enemy. She has a lot of high-strung energy. I’d like to win the Queen Elizabeth (at Keeneland).”
Phil Bauer, assistant to Kenny McPeek, trainer of Praia, runner-up: “We’re thrilled. She’s a nice filly and now she has graded stakes black type. That’s what we ran in the race for. She seems to be an improving filly who’s found her forte on the grass.”
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 3, 2014 and its 2013 Spring Meet is scheduled continues through Sunday, June 30. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record eight times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.ChurchillDowns.com.