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Dec08-jan09 text 38-72:dec06-jan07 text 36-69.qxd.qxd42 POST TIME USA
DECEMBER 2008 - JANUARY 2009
FOR KEN AND SARAH RAMSEY: NEVER A DULL MOMENT
Owners of flat racers and steeplechasers, breeders, farm owners, stallion-standers, claiming-game partic- Party Airs was not the first steeplechaser with In The Bluegrass
ipants, horseplayers, and horseracing advocates: whom the Ramseys have been involved. They pur- Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey are unique in their level chased future Champion Steeplechaser Flat Top for of combined involvement that possibly has not been $20,000 at Keeneland's 1994 yearling sale. "He was a seen since the likes of John E. Madden a century ear- big ole long-legged horse," said Ken Ramsey. "He Rab Hagin
never broke his maiden for us, and I told (trainer) While the Ramseys were galloping toward their Niall O'Callahan to drop him down. We sold him for record 14th leading owners' crown at Churchill Downs $5,000." Flat Top went on to win two steeplechase re-claimed or re-sold. The Ramseys typically have a week prior to that track's fall meet conclusion, a visit Eclipse Awards and earn $593,806. The son of more than 100 horses in training at any one time and to Ramsey Farm in Nicholasville, Kentucky, might lead Alleged already was a champion when the Ramseys have won owner titles at Keeneland, Saratoga and to the false impression that the owner title was still a purchased another long-legged yearling, Party Airs, Turfway Park in addition to Churchill Downs. Their tight race. Actually, the Churchill Downs owners' race who is out of a daughter of Alleged, Elegant racing stable is organized like a football roster, with was long over at that juncture, with even the previous Champagne, and is inbred to Alleged's sire, Hoist the sprinters, routers, turf specialists and potentially pre- fall meet record of 15 wins - set in 1965 by the late T.
cocious youngsters categorized and sent to appropri- Alie Grissom - having been thoroughly shattered. The Ramsey Farm also is home to two Ramsey-owned ate trainers and circuits. The Ramseys also own about Ramseys already had their meet record and their record stallions - homebred champion Kitten's Joy and dirt- 190 broodmares and several homebred yearlings. 14th leading owners' title (spring and fall meets), tying and-turf Gr. I sire Catienus - plus the largest collec- Somehow, Ken Ramsey is able to keep track of them with the late John Franks for most fall titles. But tion of Canadian geese (over 500) in Kentucky. It everything among stacks of files, magazines and with six autumn cards remaining under the Twin Spires, abounds with mementos of the Ramseys' eclectic life Daily Racing Forms that fill a 'reference' room in his Ken Ramsey was still whipping and driving on all and total involvement in every aspect of the thorough- home, though he has considerable assistance from fronts. Talking with trainers by phone on the Saturday bred industry. Trophies are everywhere: on tables, family members, including Sarah Ramsey and before Thanksgiving, Ramsey was multi-tasking as an mantels, bookshelves, sideboards. One might be daughter Jill Ramsey Littrell, who is the farm's office owner and a handicapper. His energy and enthusiasm under a chair. The trophy for winning the world's rich- manager. Sarah Ramsey suffered a stroke in February were infectious. Plans were mapped out according to est race in 2005, the $6-million Dubai World Cup of 2007 that affected her mobility and speech, requir- benchmarks arrived at through careful scrutiny of Len (won by Roses in May), is in a bedroom alongside ing her to communicate through hand gestures and Ragozin's 'The Sheets,' trainer stats and pedigree Roses in May's trophy for winning Saratoga's Gr. I with a notepad, but she is mentally sharp and can read a racing chart or past performance as well as anyone.
In Churchill Downs' second race on its Saturday There have been many adventures and serendipi- She rolls her eyes in resigned acceptance when men- card, Ramsey homebred 3-year-old filly Democrat tous twists of fate since Ken Ramsey - a freshly-mint- tion is made of the 'reference' room - where Ken Taxes - a daughter of Ramsey-owned stallion ed navy ensign out of officers' training - married Ramsey through some kind of sixth sense knows Catienus out of Annual Dues - closed from fifth place Sarah: four children, six grandchildren, two Eclipse on the outside at the quarter pole to win by a half- Awards, a state-of-the-art farm. Remaining on Ken He sets a high bar for trainers he employs, includ- length. Democrat Taxes had looked like a runner-up Ramsey's 'Bucket List' - title of one of his favorite ing leading Churchill Downs conditioner Mike until she passed the sixteenth pole, and when she movies - is a challenging goal: the Kentucky Derby.
Maker, Chad Brown (a protege of Hall of Fame train- finally started closing in the final strides, Ramsey was er Robert Frankel), 2-year-old specialist Wesley leaping into the air and pumping his fist. Ramsey had wheeled the exacta on Democrat Taxes and was pleased to note that the runner-up was $11.30-to-1, producing an exacta payoff that was more than three The Ramseys claimed horses out of the third, fifth and sixth races on that Churchill card. They took 4-year- old Gallant Again, who placed second ("Perfect," remarked Ken Ramsey, "he didn't lose his condition"), plus graded winner Officer Rocket in the fifth race ("He can win more stakes," observed Ramsey) and 3-year- old Lion's Circle, who was third and kept his non-win- ners-of-two condition. Ramsey continued placing bets and usually won, but he was seconds late getting down on Officer Rocket, who probably needs to stretch out from sprints and finished a closing fourth. "See, talking to you just saved me five grand," quipped Ramsey fol- Churchill Downs the following week, giving the cou- ple 24 at the track's fall meet and eclipsing the meet The Ramseys ranked among North America's top- five owners (fourth) for 2008 through November in races won (132) and are the only owners at that level in wins who also rank among the 15 leading breeders by number of wins and the 15 leading owners by purse money earned. In 2008, through October, they CHURCHILL DOWNS / REED PALMER PHOTO
had purchased 157 horses - 127 through claims, 27 at A familiar place for Ken and Sarah Ramsey and jockey Channing Hill,
auctions, and three privately - for prices totaling in the Churchill winner’s circle
$5,347,740. Some of those horses already have been
CANINE COGNITIVE DYSFUNCTION Dr. Jill Cline Research Nutritionist Nestle Purina PetCare More and more dogs seen in practice are of the older, more mature variety than ever before. Mirroring the human population, the average age of dogs in developed countries has increased- over 25% of dogs in Europe are considered senior. Also mirroring the human population, increased age in dog