Ken and Sarah Ramsey won three races at Churchill Downs on Sunday to equal A.J. Foyt III’s 30-year-old record for most wins during a meeting at the historic Louisville racetrack.
The Nicholasville, Ky. couple – Churchill Downs’ all-time leading owners in races won with 359 – collected their 27th win on Day 34 of the 38-day Spring Meet when favored Smittenwithkitten ($7.60), a 3-year-old daughter of Ramsey’s productive stallion Kitten’s Joy, won the seventh race by 1 ½ lengths. Foyt’s standard came during a unique 93-day Spring/Summer Meet in 1983.
Earlier on the program, they won the second race with 3-year-old colt Gamekeeper ($2.40) and the third with 4-year-old filly Blues and Silvers ($3.60). They had a chance to break the record in the 10th race finale but Auston Got Even finished fourth.
“It’s an honor to tie the record, but that’s kind of like running second and that’s what I call the first loser,” Ken Ramsey, 77, said via telephone from the Ramsey Farm in Nicholasville where they were hosting a family cookout. “We still don’t hold the record. We’re co-holders and ‘co’ is not in my vocabulary. I think we’ll probably end up with at least 30 based on my calculations. We got 15 the first half of the meet and we’re trying to get 15 more the last half of the meet.”
The Ramseys, who are averaging 0.79 wins per day, appear certain to collect their record 19th title as the meet’s leading owner at Churchill Downs. They lead Bert, Elaine and Richard Klein by 20 (27-7) with 41 races left to run.
The meet ends June 30 and the Ramseys have 12 horses entered in nine races on Thursday and Friday. The final two cards on Saturday and Sunday have yet to be drawn.
“I’m pretty sure we’re going to break the record,” Ramsey said. “I worked for about two hours this morning going through all the horses I’ve got to see who fits in the races and we’ve got six horses running on Friday night. I’m pretty sure we’re going to break it on Thursday or Friday. I’m not bragging, but I know the horses I’ve got.”
This would be their ninth at the Spring Meet and first since 2009. They also have won 10 Fall Meet titles, the last of which was 2011.
The Ramseys, who race their horses in the familiar white and red silks branded with an “R,” have finished among the national Top 10 owners by earnings six times since 2004 and each year since 2009. They also have been among the Top 10 owners in races won every year since 2007. They have been recognized with an Eclipse Award as the nation’s most outstanding owners on two occasions: 2004 and ’11.
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.