Multiple leading North American sire Kitten's Joy died July 15 in his paddock at Hill 'n' Dale Farms at Xalapa of an apparent heart attack. He was 21.
The son of El Prado was the pride and joy of his owner/breeders Ken and the late Sarah Ramsey, who bred him out of the winning Lear Fan daughter Kitten's First. The mare was the first racehorse bought by Sarah Ramsey whose pet name was "Kitten."
Kitten's Joy was the fourth foal and first graded stakes winner produced by Kitten's First. He won two of four starts at 2 and matured at 3 into the country's leading turf horse. He was named Eclipse champion grass horse for 2004 after winning the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes, Secretariat Stakes, Virginia Derby, Crown Royal American Turf Stakes, Palm Beach Stakes, and Tropical Park Derby. The Ramseys also were named Outstanding Owner for 2004, the first of five Eclipse honors they would eventually receive.
The champion retired to stud at Ramsey Farm near Nicholasville, Ky., after winning or finishing the second 13 times from 14 starts and earning US$2,075,791. He was a prepotent sire who topped the North American general leading sires list in 2013 and 2018 and was the leading turf sire for six consecutive years from 2013-18.
The Ramseys were recognized as Eclipse Outstanding Breeder and Outstanding Owner in 2013 having campaigned five Gr.1 winning homebreds by Kitten's Joy and another five graded stakes winners. They won the dual titles again in 2014 with three homebred Gr.1 winner by Kitten's Joy.