Interview With: WAYNE CATALANO, KEN RAMSEY, STEPHANIE RAMSEY, JEFFREY RAMSEY
THE MODERATOR: We are now live with the winning connections of the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, and the winner, of course, Stephanie's Kitten. Seated left to right are -- to our left to right, that is, is trainer Wayne Catalano, co-owner Ken Ramsey, who, of course, co-owns along with his wife Sarah. Next to Ken is the person who was provided the name Stephanie's Kitten, Ken's granddaughter Stephanie. And next to Stephanie is her dad Jeffrey. Congratulations to all of you. Wayne, Breeders' Cup win number three for you from just nine starters. All three with 2-year-old fillies. Of course, you had Dreaming of Anna back in 2006. She Be Wild in 2009, both in the juvenile fillies on the dirt.
For Ken and Sarah, this is Breeders' Cup win number two. They, of course, won the 2009 Dirt Mile with Furthest Land. But it is Ken and Sarah's first win as a breeder in the -- second?
KEN RAMSEY: Furthest Land, don't forget him, number four at Santa Anita.
THE MODERATOR: This is your first win as a breeder, correct?
PAUL WEITMAN: Yes.
THE MODERATOR: Very good. Congratulations to all of you. Wayne, I'm going to start with you. You won the Alcibiades with Stephanie's Kitten. You thereby won a Breeders' Cup win and you're in event to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, a race you're no stranger to. You elected to stay on the turf. Obviously, it was the right decision, but discuss the decision with us, if you could.
WAYNE CATALANO: Well, it only crossed my mind for one second. Then I thought it was Kitten's Joy and I thought grass. Don't look at the racing form, don't look at the matchup. Just stick with it. This is what she's supposed to do. Don't get creative.
I thank Mr. Ramsey and Mrs. Sarah Ramsey for the opportunity. We've got a heck of a staff. My wife's support. Great.
THE MODERATOR: Ken, I don't know where you watched the race from, if you had a good view or not. Did you see the race well? If so, did you think you were in good position all the way around there? Looks like -- it looked like there was a lot of horse under John Velazquez at all times.
KEN RAMSEY: Churchill Downs was kind enough to put us in the Winner's Circle, my entire family to watch it, right where we should have been that entire race. I had a great view. John said he had absolute confidence in the filly.
She landed about fifth or sixth down the back stretch, all I wanted was her to get through. She got through. I thought she'd have the kick. It was a belated birthday present. Yesterday was my 76th birthday. Didn't win yesterday, but today makes up for it.
THE MODERATOR: Stephanie, what's it like having a Breeders' Cup winning horse named after you?
STEPHANIE RAMSEY: Amazing.
THE MODERATOR: And getting more amazing by the day. We'll offer anybody upstairs the opportunity to ask questions.
I'm just going to throw a question out to Ken or Wayne. Your horse has now won a Grade 1 on the synthetic at Keeneland. You've won a Breeders' Cup race here. Depending on what happens later in the day, I guess in about an hour from now in the Juvenile Fillies on dirt, do you think your horse deserves some consideration for a 2-year-old filly championship?
KEN RAMSEY: Absolutely, I do. I don't know if there should be two awards or not, one for the turf fillies and one for the dirt fillies, but there's a couple of them in there that's undefeated. It will probably be close, but I think we definitely should be considered.
THE MODERATOR: You've already claimed it's a slam dunk. You don't even need to see the next race.
KEN RAMSEY: That's my man.
WAYNE CATALANO: I have a gentleman told me after we won Alcibiades, if you win the Breeders' Cup Filly, you'll win the championship. I believe him.
KEN RAMSEY: I don't know who said that, but I'm signing on to it.
THE MODERATOR: Wayne, lastly, I think I'd be remiss if I didn't ask you, what's your secret with 2-year-old fillies? You're obviously masterful not just with that division of horses, but perhaps particularly so, what is it that's gotten you to these three Breeders' Cup wins all with that same age and sex?
WAYNE CATALANO: First of all, I have to thank the owners who give me the opportunity to work with these fillies. I don't know how I got stamped with that other than winning with them like we did.
Having the opportunity that these great people gave me to train these horses and the staff behind me, it was like old school. We had it done before, and it's been working. We stayed with it and I hope they continue to send me great fillies.
THE MODERATOR: Jeff, I know wagering is in the Ramsey genes, but Stephanie not legally able to place a wager. Did you perhaps act as an agent on her behalf today here at Churchill Downs?
MIKE PEGRAM: Oh, maybe. Yes, actually, I did. Not as large as my cousin Steve back there but pretty good.
THE MODERATOR: All right. We'll go with Tom.
Q. Either of you could answer the question, Wayne Catalano and Mr. Ken Ramsey. You said obviously you won the Group 1 at Keeneland. The thought crossed your mind for one second with Kitten's Joy, so grass is her deal. Now that she's won this race on the grass, are you committed to racing her in the grass?
WAYNE CATALANO: Well, we'll leave the options open for dirt. If there's good grass races all day, she'll probably run on grass. If the race is poly, we'd have to think about it. Since it's dirt or grass, no-brainer.
KEN RAMSEY: Kitten's Joy won around the world. We just placed an ad, won on five continents past two months. Primarily, the synthetic and turf is where they run the best. We'll keep our options open. If an opportunity arises, we think we've got a spot we can win in on the dirt, nothing I like better.
Q. Mr. Ramsey, I understand you name horses for all your grandchildren. How do you decide who gets which horse? How did Stephanie get this particular horse?
KEN RAMSEY: Well, this is kind of ironic. Last year we named all of Kitten's Joys, the first two crops, we put "Kitten" in the name. And she got left out unintentionally; I had no idea she got left out. She came up and said, granddaddy, I didn't get a horse named after me.
So this year we thought we'd run the name Kitten in the ground. Everybody was getting tired of it. We didn't name any of them kitten except for her. This is the only 2-year-old originally named Kitten's Joy.
Since they started running so well, it's kind of become a brand name. I got criticized. We had one named gung ho. Lady at a party says, I want to criticize you and compliment you. Great advertising campaign on the kittens, but you should have named gung ho, gung ho Kitten. Now we had six that was unraced. We've gone back and changed all their names. All the rest of them are going to be kittens.
Q. Mr. Ramsey, I think you might have had an opportunity to sell this horse. Did you have offers on this horse? What made you keep her? You like this one a lot, I think.
KEN RAMSEY: Yes, we did. The gentleman called up, and he said -- he didn't make an offer. His agent made the offer initially, and then he called back and talked about the horse and said his wife was named Stephanie, and he'd like to buy the horse. No price was discussed at that time between he and I.
But I said, how would I feel setting up in the stands if she should win the Breeders' Cup. He told me he wanted to run her in this race. And my granddaughter's sitting there with me, and he's leading the horse in with his Stephanie instead of me. It's a no-brainer. The horse is not for sale. Just like the stallion is not for sale. He's a family pet also.
Q. Wayne, we don't have John Velazquez with us because he has a mount in the Filly and Mare Sprint, but what did he tell you about his trip when he climbed off?
WAYNE CATALANO: Actually, I didn't get to speak to him a whole bunch. He said he had a great trip, and he was very happy he could win for us and Mr. Ramsey.
I was just happy that he chose our horse over the other two or three opportunities that he had. I felt good about it. And Johnny had other mounts in the race and waited an extra couple of days for the answer. We were happy that he stayed with our horse. So we felt good about that.
Q. In fact, he mentioned on TV, when he looked in front of him at one point and saw Stopshoppingmaria in front of him still, seemingly with a lot of horse, and he said, oh, my goodness, I took off the wrong horse. Do you as trainer, or perhaps you, Ken, as owner, do you make your best case to the rider why he should stay with you rather than ride for Mike Repole or somebody else?
KEN RAMSEY: When he got off in Keeneland, I asked him. We need to know, son. We don't want to get short changed at the last minute searching for a good jockey. He said, I have a lot of input in who I ride myself. Let me ride the other Kitten. There's another Kitten's Joy in the race today. Sweet Cat. I have no idea where she finished. John and I go back a long way.
This race to me puts me right up on par in the race that John Velazquez road for me in Dubai. We won the Dubai World Cup with John Velazquez. That's a big payday over there. Top class jockey.
Trainers like Wayne Catalano and jockeys like John Velazquez makes the owners look good.
Q. Sweet Cat ran third. So it was a Velazquez triple.
KEN RAMSEY: Three for Kitten's Joy today.
Q. What was that?
JEFFREY RAMSEY: I said my exacta didn't pay off.
Q. Any other questions? It appears not. Wayne Catalano, Kenneth Ramsey, Stephanie and Jeff Ramsey, congratulations on a great win. Best of luck. Go ahead, Ken. You have something to add.
KEN RAMSEY: I just want to say. I'm an old country boy, and growing up we used to watch the Grand Ole Opry. And there was a lady on there called Minnie Pearl. She used to come on the radio saying, I'm just so glad to be here. Me exactly today. I'm so glad to be up here.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations to all of you. Stephanie's Kitten.
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