One day after failing to meet her reserve for the second time in two years at the Fasig-Tipton November sale, reigning Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner Stephanie's Kitten was sold privately to Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm in Japan for $2.8 million, owner Ken Ramsey confirmed Monday.
Stephanie's Kitten brought a final bid of $2.95 million at Fasig-Tipton Sunday night; the reserve on the homebred daughter of Kitten's Joy was $2.99 million this year; last year it was $3.95 million.
Ramsey had said Sunday that the plan was to bring the 6-year-old mare home to his family's Nicholasville farm and breed her.
However, representatives of Northern Farm came back with an offer of $2.7 million Sunday night; after some negotiation and evaluating the market, Ramsey agreed to sell his prized mare for $2.8 million.
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When Stephanie's Kitten didn't sell at Fasig-Tipton, "We thought it was over with. We started trying to find out about (stallions) and make some inquiries, and we figured we were finished," Ramsey said. "This morning ... I said, 'Well the sales are down. The indicators are down.' If they want to buy her for $2.8 million they can have her."
The decision to enter Stephanie's Kitten in the Fasig-Tipton sale was not popular among the Ramsey family as she is named for Ken and Sarah Ramsey's granddaughter. The winner of Grade I races at ages 2, 4, 5 and 6 also is a candidate for the Hall of Fame.
The bay mare captured the 2011 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, and her win in the Filly & Mare Turf on Saturday made her first horse to win multiple Breeders' Cup starts with four years in between.
Stephanie's Kitten retires with 11 wins from 25 starts and $4,292,904 in earnings.
"It's just time to take a little money off the table," Ramsey said of the sale. "She'll have a great home and they'll take good care of her.
"All in all, I think I made the right decision for me, the family, and for her."