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Emotional Kitten grabs Trinket in Mrs. Revere

Emotional Kitten, who had been holding her own in Grade 1 company, scored her first graded victory (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's homebred Emotional Kitten got up in time to deny Effie Trinket in Saturday night's Grade 2, $205,100 Mrs. Revere at Churchill Downs. Jockey Victor Espinoza, who had guided her to a pair of Grade 1 placings over the summer in California, came in for the ride, and the two clicked once again as Emotional Kitten notched her first graded victory.

One of two Ramsey runners in the field, the Wesley Ward-trained Emotional Kitten was joined by Quality Kitten from the Wayne Catalano barn. The two daughters of Kitten's Joy employed contrasting styles, with contrasting results. Quality Kitten tracked the early leader before retreating on the far turn, while Emotional Kitten uncorked the winning move from well off the pace.

British import Zero Game showed the way through splits of :23 2/5, :48 2/5 and 1:13 on the good turf course. Poised just behind, on either side of Quality Kitten, were the hedge-skimming Nellie Cashman and 3-1 favorite I'm Already Sexy. Wider out, Frivolous crept into a stalking position nearing the far turn. One who might have been expected to flash speed, Tapicat, instead dropped back immediately from post 13 and never made her presence felt.

Swinging into the stretch, I'm Already Sexy and Frivolous launched their bids, and Nellie Cashman threaded the needle on the inside. But all of their efforts proved short-lived.

The rallying Effie Trinket bounded to the front with a good-looking burst of speed, and soon established daylight. Further back, Emotional Kitten was suddenly beginning to unwind, and she soon went in hot pursuit of the new leader. Emotional Kitten forged a half-length ahead at the wire, finishing 1 1/16 grassy miles in 1:44 2/5 and paying $11.80 as the 9-2 third choice.

Another 1 1/2 lengths back in third came Dance Again, who had one length to spare over the deep-closing Praia. Tapicat checked in fifth, followed by Nellie Cashman, Frivolous, Keening, I'm Already Sexy, Quality Kitten, Allegheny Angel, E B Ryder, Remember Then and the tailed-off Zero Game.

Emotional Kitten advanced her scorecard to 14-4-2-3, $357,533. The chestnut dropped her first six starts as a juvenile, including a last-of-nine effort in the Cinderella at Hollywood and a fifth in the La Senorita at Retama. Dropped in class for a $75,000 maiden claimer at Gulfstream last December, she finally broke her maiden. Emotional Kitten cleared her entry-level allowance condition two starts later at Keeneland, prevailing in a photo, and came right back to get the nod in the May 17 Hilltop at Pimlico.

Shipped out west, Emotional Kitten finished second in the July 13 American Oaks at Hollywood, beaten a half-length by Emollient, and placed third to Discreet Marq and Wishing Gate in the August 17 Del Mar Oaks. She lagged too far off the pace last time in the October 12 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup and left herself too much to do at Keeneland. Nevertheless, she acquitted herself respectably to close the gap to just three lengths when reporting home seventh. Channing Hill rode her that day, but Espinoza regained the mount on Saturday.

The Pennsylvania-bred is out of the stakes-winning Ghazi mare Silent Emotion, making her a half-sister to multiple stakes victress and Grade 1-placed Unspoken Word. This is the family of another Ramsey stalwart, globetrotting sprinter Cannonball. A three-time stakes hero at home in New York, he was runner-up in the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot, placed in a pair of Breeders' Cup races (the Juvenile Turf and Turf Sprint), and even garnered a Group 3 placing during his time with Gai Waterhouse in Australia.

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