A year ago, Stephanie's Kitten used a Grade I win at Keeneland and subsequent Breeders' Cup triumph to make herself a finalist for Eclipse Award divisional honors.
The connections behind the daughter of Kitten's Joy would like to see her repeat that pattern, beginning with Saturday's Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup over the Keeneland turf.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's homebred pulled off the Keeneland-Breeders' Cup double in 2011 when she won the Grade I Darley Alcibiades and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf en route to becoming a finalist for champion 2-year-old filly.
Should Stephanie's Kitten overcome the seven rivals she is slated to face in the 11⁄8-mile Queen Elizabeth, the dainty bay filly would likely make her next stop in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf where a victory there would put her in the discussion for champion turf female honors.
Among those she will face Saturday is Chad Brown's trainee Samitar, winner of the Grade I Garden City Stakes in just her second U.S. start.
After dropping two of her first three starts this year, Stephanie's Kitten captured the Grade II Lake Placid Stakes at Saratoga in August, defeating fellow QEII entrants Centre Court and Somali Lemonade. "She has gone forward this year but she's going to have to punch her ticket to go to the Breeders' Cup," said Ken Ramsey, who named the filly after his granddaughter. "I'm not paying her way free of charge just because her name is Stephanie's Kitten."
Alicia Wincze Hughes: (859) 231-1676.Blog: horseracing.bloginky.com.