Trainer Rusty Arnold could only joke of seeing offspring of Kitten's Joy in his nightmares. And as Ken Ramsey held court after yet another graded stakes score by one of his homebreds, Jack Wolf approached to ask for mercy on behalf of fellow owners.
"Could you just take it easy on us?," Wolf laughed.
The Ken and Sarah Ramsey armada doesn't appear to have an "off" button this season, especially when big- money results are at stake. The Nicholasville-based owners added to their slate of contenders for next month's Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita when homebred Kitten Kaboodle surged clear for a 43/4-length win in Wednesday's Grade III JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland.
The $150,000 Jessamine Stakes was a "Win and You're In" race for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, giving Ramsey a half dozen or so horses he plans to enter in racing's two-day, 14-race year-end event.
With the exception of Grade I Breeders' Futurity winner We Miss Artie, all of Ramsey's current Breeders' Cup contenders are by his leading stallion Kitten's Joy. The chestnut Kitten Kaboodle added to her sire's season of excellence, becoming his 21st stakes winner just in 2013.
"That makes his 41st stakes winner and we've either bred or owned 39 of them," said Ken Ramsey, who has already won six meet titles this year and leads all owners in the nation with more than $10 million in earnings. "So we're the straw that is stirring the drink with the Kitten's Joys.
"He could be the next Storm Cat of the turf. One horse is putting me up there."
Sent off at 7-to-2 odds in the 10-horse Jessamine field, Kitten Kaboodle had run second in each of her prior two starts, both of which came at Saratoga.
Plagued by tepid fractions and a foot issue in her last try, the Chad Brown-trainee got a model trip under Alan Garcia in her 11⁄16-mile tour Wednesday. After stalking the pace inside in third through fractions of :23.15 and :46.98, Garcia urged Kitten Kaboodle through a wide opening on the rail past pacesetter Zip On and came home under right-handed urging to hit the wire in 1:44.01 over firm turf.
"That last race ... they slowed it down to a crawl and she had a bad foot that was messed up so she really had no shot," Ramsey said. "Chad has her back right so it was a no brainer to come."
Zinzay, sent off as the 2-to-1 favorite, came up for second and Arnold said he would consider a Breeders' Cup rematch with the Jessamine winner. "She'll improve off this," Arnold said. "I couldn't beat Ken right now if they ran in my back shedrow. I'm having nightmares about Kitten's Joys."
Alicia Wincze Hughes: (859) 231-1676. Blog: horseracing.bloginky.com. Twitter: @horseracinghl.