Ken Ramsey admits there was a bit of hopefulness involved when he dubbed one of his promising colts Derby Kitten.
The longtime owner, a Kentucky native, has long dreamed of winning the Run for the Roses.
Turns out, he'll have to wait at least another year thanks to Derby Kitten's slow development. Then again, Ramsey says Preakness Kitten has a nice ring to it too.
Ramsey and his budding star will likely get their chance next month after the 3-year-old colt roared to victory in the $200,000 Lexington Stakes on Saturday at Keeneland.
"The Preakness could be on our agenda," Ramsey said after his horse romped through the rain over Keeneland's synthetic surface.
The colt bided his time before jockey Julien Leparoux perfectly timed a late-race push, allowing Derby Kitten to beat Prime Cut by 1 1/2 lengths. Derby Kitten, owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trained by Mike Maker, paid $20.40, $6.60 and $3.60 while covering the 1 1/1 6-mile distance in 1:42.03.
Prime Cut, ridden by Edgar Prado, paid $4.40 and $3 for second. Casper's Touch finished third and paid $3.
Silver Medallion, who could have qualified for next month's Kentucky Derby with a victory, stalked the pace but had no answer in the stretch and faded to fourth.