The standard that Nicholasville-based Ken and Sarah Ramsey set for themselves coming out of 2013 was at such a level that bettering it would have been a Herculean feat.
Though their 2014 season couldn't match the record-setting levels of the 12 months prior, Ramsey Farm still conducted business at an altitude none of its peers could reach.
The Ramseys became the first operation to sweep the honors of Outstanding Owner and Outstanding Breeder in back-to-back years when they were presented with both pieces of hardware again during the 44th annual Eclipse Awards at Gulfstream Park on Saturday night.
In picking up two more year-end trophies, the Ramseys have now won the Eclipse Award for Owner a total of four times (2004, 2011, 2013, 2014) and Breeder twice (2013, 2014).
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Spearheaded again by a stable largely featuring offspring by their homebred stallion Kitten's Joy, the Ramseys led all owners in 2014 in earnings ($10,544,148), stakes wins (29) and graded stakes wins (10). The family celebrated their third career Breeders' Cup winner when homebred Bobby's Kitten came from the clouds to prevail in the Turf Sprint in what was arguably the most dramatic finish of any race on the World Championships card.
The Ramseys also topped the individual breeders list in North America in 2014 with $10,412,411 in earnings, breeding the winners of 264 races from 1,771 starts.
Kitten's Joy, who led the general sire list for all of 2013, ranked third among North American stallions this past season with progeny earnings of $11,713,264.
"This game is all about horses and we're up here tonight because of one special horse," Ken Ramsey said. "My wife named him Kitten's Joy and the name has been prophetic. Long live the kittens!"
■ Trainer Todd Pletcher added another historic chapter to his surefire Hall of Fame career, winning a record seventh Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer. Pletcher, who received 100 of the possible 265 first-place votes, led all conditioners last year in earnings ($22,476,736), stakes wins (62), and graded stakes victories (40).
■ Javier Castellano took home his second straight Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey following a season that landed him atop the standings with $25,056,464 in earnings and 30 graded stakes triumphs.
■ Louisville-born Drayden Van Dyke was a clear winner for the honor of Outstanding Apprentice Jockey, earning 225 first-place votes.