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It was a banner day for Ken and Sarah Ramsey when they took two Grade 1 races in the span of a little over an hour at Arlington Park while also winning a third Grade 1 at Saratoga Race Course and finishing third and fourth in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks, all with offspring of their stallion Kitten’s Joy. 

But the Ramseys biggest win came in the Arlington Million with Real Solution.

The win was a hard-fought battle, first in the race and then while waiting out an inquiry against South African invader The Apache.

A SMILING KEN RAMSEY CELEBRATES HIS ARLINGTON MILLION WIN

Arlington Million Ramsey

Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

Real Solution broke out of post-position one and immediately took a ground-saving spot on the rail. Sitting in midpack, Real Solution seemed to get stuck behind other horses while looking for a place to run as the field made its way around the far turn before finding a hole at the top of the stretch. By the time he reached midstretch, the 4-year-old colt was in full gear with urging from Alan Garcia. It was a battle to the finish line with both The Apache and Real Solution taking turns in the lead, but in the end The Apache popped his head in front at the finish line.

The result wasn’t unchallenged for long as Garcia lodged a complaint quickly after the finish line. Both horses walked in front of the winner’s circle while the stewards spent tense minutes reviewed head-on tapes that revealed The Apache had drifted out in the stretch and made contact with Real Solution.

Real Solution was elevated to first and The Apache was dropped down to second while Side Glance was third.

REAL SOLUTION (outside) AND THE APACHE BATTLE TO THE FINISH LINE

Real Solution Million

Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

Real Solution and The Apache crossed the finish line in tandem in a time of 2:00.99 for the 1 ¼-mile distance in front of a crowd of 34,222 who came out for Arlington’s International Festival.

“Well, he broke really good, first two and a half I took him back out of there, he was nice and relaxed,” Garcia said of Real Solution. “At the top of the stretch, I had plenty of horse to go by and the other horse bumped us more than four times, made me lose my momentum. If that didn’t happen we might have won by two or three lengths.”

Real Solution’s “Win and You’re In” victory in the Million earned him a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Turf in November. Last year’s Arlington Million victor Little Mike, who was sixth in this year’s edition, went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf and was a finalist for champion turf male.

The Ramseys had won the Secretariat Stakes with Admiral Kitten, trained by Mike Maker, earlier on the card, but they won both the Arlington Million and Saratoga’s Sword Dancer Stakes with horses trained by Chad Brown.

Ken Ramsey felt a bit of vindication with the win as Real Solution’s sire, Kitten’s Joy, finished second in the 2005 Arlington Million in his last race. He was retired shortly after due to injury.

“[The Million] was Kitten’s Joy’s last race. He hurt his knee and had to be retired so to have his son come back today and do what he didn’t do on that particular day is very gratifying and, in fact, he is standing at our farm. He turned out to be such a wonderful stallion,” Ken Ramsey said. “This is three Kitten’s Joys that have won here today plus we won the Grade 1 Sword Dancer over at Saratoga for Kitten’s Joy and today’s not over. We have another one running here in a stakes plus we have two … running in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks out at Del Mar.”

Real Solution’s victory also rewarded those who put their money on him as his 6.60-to-1 odds paid out $18.80 for a $2 win bet.

Kitten’s Joy other Grade 1 winner at Arlington, Admiral Kitten, came from the back of the pack to win by 1 ¼ lengths in the $500,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 ¼ miles.

ADMIRAL KITTEN WINNING SECRETARIAT

Admiral Kitten Sec

Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

The win was Admiral Kitten’s first graded stakes victory and first win of 2013. He teamed up with Rosie Napravnik for the first time in what proved to be a winning combination.

The win was also the second battle in a row with Stormy Len, who finished second in the Secretariat.

Admiral Kitten’s win from well off the pace as he charged from tenth after three-quarters of a mile to win by 1 ¼ lengths. Stormy Len beat race favorite Jack Milton by the same distance.

“After four second-place finishes we were due for a good trip one of these times,” said Maker. “He had lost ground to the winners in those races and Rosie saved ground on both turns here and he came with his run. It worked out that Rosie was available.”

The lone European invader to win a graded stakes race at Arlington on the Million card was Dank in the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes.

The 3.20-to-1 second betting choice made easy work of the field, winning the 1 3/16-mile race in a time of 1:53.38. Ridden by fellow European invader Ryan Moore, she sat in midpack near the sixth position for the first half-mile. Dank slowly crept forward, moving up to fifth after three-quarters of a mile and putting herself in third position in early stretch. It was obvious that she was going to romp as she separated herself from the pack to bound home 4 ¼ lengths clear of runner-up Gifted Girl.

DANK ROLLED IN THE BEVERLY D. STAKES

Dank BevD

Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

“She’s been real aggressive all year,” said Moore. “She wasn’t real aggressive at Royal Ascot but apart from that, she’s been real aggressive. She wasn’t at her best over the last couple. She was in excellent condition coming into this and when she kicked it was all over.”

She was followed by the Irish-bred Gifted Girl, who beat American runner Ausus by 1 ½ lengths.

Heavy favorite Marketing Mix, who went off at odds of 11-to-10 finished fourth, only losing to Ausus by a nose.

“She was pulling and not settling like she normally does,” said Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, Marketing Mix’s rider. “She was comfortable but she was pulling, which took away from her kick, I won’t make any excuses. The winner ran a huge race … normally she gives me a real feeling of confidence, but she didn’t give it to me. I knew a ways out it was going to be difficult.”

While it wasn’t a graded stakes race, it should also be noted that European invader Dandino won the 1 11/16-mile American St. Leger over Suntracer and Najjaar.

For Equibase charts from the Arlington Million card, click here.

Image Description

Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Melissa Bauer-Herzog was born and raised in Vancouver, Wash. where she grew up riding horses in all-around events. After graduating from West Texas A&M with a B.S. in Mass Communication she spent the summer of 2012 interning at the United States Equestrian Federation and working at the Paulick Report. Melissa joined America’s Best Racing in December 2012 while interning with Three Chimneys Farm in their marketing communications division.

Image Description

Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Melissa Bauer-Herzog was born and raised in Vancouver, Wash. where she grew up riding horses in all-around events. After graduating from West Texas A&M with a B.S. in Mass Communication she spent the summer of 2012 interning at the United States Equestrian Federation and working at the Paulick Report. Melissa joined America’s Best Racing in December 2012 while interning with Three Chimneys Farm in their marketing communications division.

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