Ken & Sarah Ramsey

Bobby's Kitten: 

  • Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, Santa Anita, November 1st 2014
  • Trained by Chad C. Brown, Sire: Kitten's Joy. Dam: Celestial Woods

Kitten's Dumplings: 

  • Queen Elizabeth II Challenger Cup, 12th October 2013
  • Trained by Michael J Maker, Sire: Kitten's Joy. Dam: Granny Franny

We Miss Artie: 

  • Futurity, Keeneland, 5th October 2013
  • Trained by Todd Pletcher, Sire: Artie Schiller. Dam: Athena's Gift

Real Solution:

  • Arlington Million Stakes, Arlington Park, 17th August 2013
  • Manhattan Stakes, Belmont Park, 7th June 2014
  • Trained by Chad C Brown, Sire: Kitten's Joy. Dam: Reachfortheheaven

Admiral Kitten:

  • Secretariat Stakes, Arlington Park, 17th August 2013
  • Trained by Michael J Maker, Sire: Kitten's Joy. Dam: Reachforthestars 

Big Blue Kitten: 

  • United Nations Stakes, Monmouth Park, 6th July 2013
  • Sword Dancer Inv., Saratoga, 17th August 2013
  • United Nations Stakes, Monmouth Park, 5th July 2015
  • Trained by Chad C Brown, Sire: Kitten's Joy. Dam: Spent Gold

Stephanie's Kitten: 

  • Just a Game Stakes, Belmont Park, 8th June 2013
  • Flower Bowl S, Belmont Park, September 27th 2014
  • Trained by Todd A. Pletcher, Sire: Kitten's Joy. Dam: Unfold the Rose

Ken and Sarah Ramsey have done more for cats than Garfield. Actually, the credit goes to their stallion Kitten’s Joy, the 2004 Eclipse Champion Turf Male who has followed a terrific career on-track - nine wins and four seconds in 14 starts with more than $2 million in earnings – with continuing success as a sire. Currently ranked sixth in North America in progeny earnings, Kitten’s Joy has led to an epidemic breakout of horses named Kitten. When’s the last time you went to the track and didn’t see at least one horse with Kitten in his name, most likely in a turf race?

The Ramseys were the Eclipse Champion Owners in 2004 and 2011. And though their farm is in Lexington, Kentucky and they just set a record for wins at Churchill Downs this summer, such is their presence in New York that they were the leading owners at Saratoga in 2008 and 2009. After watching Mike Repole win the ensuing three Saratoga owner titles, Ken has been telling everybody, including Repole, that he is going to beat him this summer. Ken’s been claiming horses left and right to make that happen. “I claimed like 30 horses to beat the Repole Stable,” Ken said. “I have seven different trainers ready to win races there.”

Now 76, he came into racing after several different careers. After graduating high school at the age of 16 as valedictorian, he became manager of a trucking business before joining the Naval Reserve and served on aircraft carrier. “I wanted to be a test pilot,” he said. “That was my ambition. Then I met my wife.”

Ken started his own trucking business, then became the terminal manager of a company in Hartford, Ct. He then switched to real estate. “It was very lucrative,” he said. “I was the leading realtor in Lexington after 16 months. I had 29 people working for me. At one point, I had 101 properties.”

After reading about cell phones, he changed careers again. “I jumped into it,” he said. “When I read about it or heard about it, I said, `Man, this is a better mousetrap.’ I saw all kind of ramifications. Then I sold my company for $39 million. That got me into the horse business. That’s what I wanted to do all the time. I bought the farm we have now. I’m over 1,400 acres.”

He remembers his first visit to a racetrack. “I was on a ship in San Francisco,” he said. “The first race I saw was at Golden Gate Fields. I couldn’t understand how to pick them because they all looked the same to me.”

Years later, he visited Keeneland with a friend. “I made $40 that day,” he said. “The next Saturday, I go back and win again. I said, `Gee, this beats working.’ I enjoyed it.”

He then took a correspondents course in handicapping. “Sixteen weeks,” he said. “Then I bought Tom Ainsle’s book and everything I could get my hands on to read. I’d take trainers’ notes.”

Ken became so proficient that he taught an adult course in handicapping at Transylvania University. “We packed them in,” he said. “I taught them the 3 R’s: Ramsey’s Road to Riches.”

Yet he left racing for more than a decade. “I was spending too much time betting,” he said.

He wound up owning six FM-radio stations in Wisconsin. “That’s where I applied for a license,” he said.

He returned to racing in the mid’90s and has climbed steadily upward ever since. “Well, I’ll tell you what, it’s been a big part of my life,” he said.

The biggest player in that part of his life is Kitten’s Joy. Asked how many Kitten’s Joy horses he currently owns, he said, “I don’t honestly know. Not enough.”

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