Kentucky Derby

Ramseys’ Kitten’s Cat 4-1 favorite for Spiral Stakes Derby prep at Turfway

Kitten’s Cat won the Kitten’s Joy Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 4 before finishing second in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes at the same track exactly one month later — his most recent outing.
Kitten’s Cat won the Kitten’s Joy Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 4 before finishing second in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes at the same track exactly one month later — his most recent outing.

Kitten’s Cat is nothing if not consistent, and that was enough to make the 3-year-old colt owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey of Nicholasville, the 4-1 favorite for Saturday’s Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park.

The 1 1/8-mile Spiral is a designated points race for the Kentucky Derby, with 50 points to the winner and 20, 10 and five to the next three finishers, respectively.

If form holds, Kitten’s Cat should walk away with some points. He’s finished in the money in six of his seven career starts, most recently placing second in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March. 4.

Kitten’s Cat’s three wins include stakes victories in the Kitten’s Joy at Gulfstream on Feb. 4 and the Juvenile Turf Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 5.

Kitten’s Cat, sired by the Ramseys’ Eclipse Award-winning turf champion Kitten’s Joy, will be making his first start on a synthetic surface at Turfway on Saturday.

“Kitten’s Joys seem to do well on Polytrack,” trainer Joe Sharp said. That’s been especially true at Turfway, where Ramsey has won the Spiral with Oscar Nominated last year and Dean’s Kitten in 2010. Both horses were by Kitten’s Joy.

Kitten’s Cat’s 11 rivals in the Spiral Stakes include 5-1 co-second choices Parlor and King and His Court.

Parlor, who has won two of his three career starts and finished second in the other, will be making his second start this year on Saturday, racing from post position nine. In a race with a lot of speed, Parlor could be the closer.

Parlor was among six late nominations this week to participate in the 2017 Triple Crown series.

“The races he’s won, he’s won from off the pace,” trainer Eddie Kenneally said. “He doesn’t have natural speed and he’s quite content to take himself back.”

King and His Court, trained by Mark Casse, is a grizzled veteran compared to the lightly raced Parlor. The Spiral will be the gelding’s 11th career start. After wins in the Coronoation Futurity on Nov. 13 and the Display Stakes on Dec. 3 at Woodbine, King and His Court never fired and finished last in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Feb. 11, his most recent start.

Mike Maker trains three Spiral contenders: Fast and Accurate (15-1), En Hanse (15-1) and Shiraz (20-1).

Kendall Hansen owns En Hanse, in partnership with Olympic skier Bode Miller. In his two most recent appearances at Turfway, En Hanse won the WEBN Stakes on Feb. 11 and was runner-up in the John Battaglia Memorial on March 4.

“He ran a credible race last time (in the mile-and-a-sixteenth Battaglia),” Maker said. (The Spiral distance) will be a stretch for him but there’s only one way to find out.”

Saturday

Spiral Stakes

What: Kentucky Derby prep points race (50-20-10-5)

Where: Turfway Park

When: 5:55 p.m.

TV: TVG

Distance: 1  1/8 miles

Purse: $500,000 (Grade 3)

Favorite: Kitten’s Cat (4-1)

Spiral Stakes field with morning line odds

1 Blueridge Traveler (12-1)

2 Soglio (6-1)

3 Fast and Accurate (15-1)

4 Convict Pike (8-1)

5 Colonel Samsen (15-1)

6 Giant Payday (8-1)

7 Shiraz (20-1)

8 Kitten’s Cat (4-1)

9 Parlor (5-1)

10 Bronson (10-1)

11 King and His Court (5-1)

12 En Hanse (15-1)

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