(KY Downs / Photos by Holly M. Smith)
From the KY Downs Media Team / Jennie Rees:
Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s 4-year-old Ramsey Solution won Wednesday’s $300,000 Tapit Stakes by a length over Midnight Tea Time in the gelding’s first attempt in a stakes.
It capped a huge day for trainer Wesley Ward and jockey Gerardo Corrales, who combined to win three races: the second (Infinite), third (Royal Approval) and then the stakes.
After winning a Churchill Downs’ second-level allowance race, Ramsey Solution in his last start was fourth in a third-level allowance race at Saratoga.
“I’ve been really excited about this guy from the word go,” Ward said of Ramsey Solution, a homebred son of the Calumet Farm stallion Real Solution, with whom the Ramseys won the Grade 1 Arlington Million. “I’m glad he finally came through. I really loved him the other day up at Saratoga and he kind of gave me the finger. I’m excited how he came through for Mr. Ramsey. He’s the guy who kind of made me back here (as a trainer). To come through for him on a big money, big day like this, it makes him happy more than anybody.”
Reached by phone, Ken Ramsey, Kentucky Downs’ all-time winningest owner, said: “I’m very proud of this horse. We owned his sire, Real Solution. He won his first bunch of races and went off at 3-5 in the Italian Derby, which turned out well for me because I got to go to Rome and see the Eternal City and the Colosseum, that’s the most fascinating city I’ve been to in my life. And back in the States we gave him to Chad Brown and won the Arlington Million — on a disqualification, but he won it.”
Ramsey also owned Ramsey Solution’s dam, the Dynaformer mare Dynarhythm, but sold her several years ago. As for what is next for Ramsey Solution, well, Ken Ramsey came up with a Ramsey solution: swing for the fences.
“The horse is a gelding, so we don’t have to be too conservative as far as breeding on either side,” he said. “I just got off the phone with Wesley and he said, ‘What do you think?’ I said, ‘Let’s talk about the future with this horse. There’s not much out there left for him. What do you think about taking a shot in the Shadwell Turf Mile on Oct. 3 at Keeneland. It’s a ‘Win and You’re In’ For the Breeders’ Cup, Grade 1, $750,000. I know it’s a little quick back, only 24 days. He thought a minute and said, ‘I’m drinking some wine right now celebrating your win. It’s nice to win one of those $300,000 stakes races down at Kentucky Downs. Sounds good to me.’
“I said, ‘If it looks like we got a chance, let’s go, because we have nothing to lose.’ So I think that’s probably his next spot, at Keeneland, his home track. We’re going for the home run. We’re not trying to get to first base.”
The Kentucky-bred Ramsey Solution now is 4-1-0 in seven starts, picking up $176,700 to more than double his earnings to $322,367.
Ramsey Solution had a knee chip surgically removed before he ever ran and did not start until October of last year. He finished a non-threatening seventh and afterward was gelded.
“The main thing is we gelded him and it turned him right around,” Ward said.
Ramsey Solution impressively won a maiden race in his next start then had a win and a second in Turfway Park allowance races before his Churchill Downs victory.
Corrales, a 24-year-old from Panama in his first year on the Kentucky circuit after racing in Ohio, was aboard Ramsey Solution for the first time in the Tapit.
He positioned Ramsey Solution just off the pace set by the stakes’ 2019 winner Get Western. Ramsey Solution drew clear nearing mid-stretch and had plenty in reserve to repel Midnight Tea Time while covering the mile in 70 yards in 1:36.38. That’s easily the fastest time for the distance in track history, which until this meet was all hand-timed. However, because a new timing system based on GPS technology is being utilized this meet, including more consistent points at which the timing starts, Kentucky Downs is not recognizing any track records as of yet.
“Very happy,” Corrales said. “Good horse, nice horse.”
Ramsey Solution paid $18.20 to win as the sixth choice in the field of 10. Midnight Tea Time and jockey Adam Beschizza finished a half-length in front of Hembree, who was a head in front of favored English Bee. Rounding out the field were Split the Wickets, Temple, Morocco, Big Score, Get Western and Hawkish.
It was the eighth second in 26 starts for Midnight Tea Time, whose three wins include an allowance race at Kentucky Downs last year.
“I’m going to have get good with being second,” trainer Joe Sharp joked. “We were pleased with the horse he’s developed into. Obviously we’ve had a lot of fun with this horse over the last couple of years. He’s a horse for the course. He loves Kentucky Downs. He ran a great race here last year. He’s just a dependable horse who shows up every time. We gave him a little freshening and I think it’s going to make for a good second half of the year.”
Said Beschizza: “He ran his eyeballs out. He gave a good account, and he’s showing a lot more genuineness this year. Joe’s done a great job with him. He seems to be like a decent ‘house’ horse who keeps turning up every year. He’s almost becoming reliable.”