The Kentucky Derby prep campaign is winding down and only a few races remain for horses to accumulate qualifying points. One of these events will take place at Kentucky’s Keeneland Race Track on Saturday with the running of the $750,000 Grade 1 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes. The morning line favorite in the race at 3-1 is Bobby’s Kitten, owned by Ken Ramsey. Ramsey already has two horses likely for the Kentucky Derby–G2 Louisiana Derby champion Vicar’s in Trouble and G3 Spiral Stakes champion We Miss Artie. A victory by Bobby’s Kitten would qualify him for the Derby and give Ramsey three entrants in the race.
Like most of the horses still trying to lock up qualification points at this late stage of the game there’s several things working against Bobby’s Kitten. In recent years the post time favorite in the Blue Grass hasn’t fared particularly well–a favorite hasn’t won the race in 11 years. It’ll be the horse’s first race on a synthetic surface. Should Bobby’s Kitten win the race and qualify for the Derby other issues await, most significantly the move to a dirt track from a synthetic surface. Even more problematic–the Derby would be his first start on dirt after spending the early part of his career running on turf. Despite these issues, Bobby’s Kitten is getting a reasonable amount of support in futures betting markets. He’s currently 30/1 in the Wynn Las Vegas Kentucky Derby futures betting.
Owner Ramsey isn’t concerned about the Blue Grass favorite ‘jinx’ of the past decade:
“I think it’s an honor. I think it’s a reflection of where he was last year and what he did.”
Bobby’s Kitten’s trainer, Dale Romans, thinks he’s good enough to run with the best:
“I think this horse deserves to run with the best 3-year-olds in America. I’ve been on his bandwagon ever since he came to the barn. He’s a big pretty Dynaformer that moves like a cat and I just didn’t want him to miss the opportunity to dance the big dances.”
The Kentucky Derby will take place on May 4 at Louisville’s Churchill Downs race track. The race is limited to 20 entrants so the battle for qualification points down the stretch will be fierce.