Ramsey Seeks Another KY Downs Title With Joseph as Trainer

August 31, 2022

FRANKLIN, Ky.— Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. is wasting no time trying to build on his success and the success of celebrated Kentucky owner Ken Ramsey at the FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs.

Joseph, who has compiled a 2-2-3 record from 18 career starts at Kentucky Downs, has 14 horses entered over the first three racing days, including Ramsey Solution in Thursday’s opening-day $400,000 FanDuel Tapit Stakes (Listed) at a mile and 70 yards.

Ramsey Solution is trying to become the first two-time winner of the Tapit, which was inaugurated in 2015. Ramsey Solution won the race in 2020 for trainer Wesley Ward and the nationally prominent Ramsey, who bred the 6-year-old Real Solution gelding in partnership with his late wife, Sarah.

Ken Ramsey, among owners, is the runaway leader in victories (47) and purse earnings ($4,197,574) at Kentucky Downs, an undulating, non-symmetrical 1 5/16-mile European-style grass venue that opened in 1990 as Dueling Grounds. Ramsey has seven horses entered over the first three racing days in 2022 – all with Joseph – including Tallahatchiebridge in Sunday’s $750,000 Big Ass Fans Dueling Grounds Derby (G3) for 3-year-olds at 1 5/16 miles.

“His goal is to try and win the meet again as an owner, obviously,” Joseph said during training hours Wednesday morning at Kentucky Downs. “It’s probably going to take three or four wins for him to do it. I was looking through the past owner (standings), so it would be nice if it could happen.”

Ramsey Solution has made just one start for the south Florida-based Joseph, winning a $60,000 handicap at 1 1/16 miles over a synthetic surface June 18 at Gulfstream Park. The gelding hadn’t run in almost a year. Joseph said he wasn’t sure the reason behind the extended layoff, but noted a dispute between Ramsey and former trainer Wesley Ward contributed to it. Ramsey Solution was a forward factor in winning the 2020 Tapit, but came from well off the pace in his comeback race.

“This was the target after the comeback, to try to point him to the Tapit again and, hopefully, he can win it again,” Joseph said.

Ramsey Solution and Tallahatchiebridge are among approximately 30 horses Joseph said he has for the colorful Ramsey. Ramsey and his late wife collected four Eclipse Awards for outstanding owner (2004, 2011, 2013 and 2014), two for outstanding breeder (2013 and 2014) and also campaigned 2004 champion grass horse Kitten’s Joy, later a prolific stallion for the couple.

“He actually wants to run quite a bit of his horses here,” Joseph said, referring to Ramsey. “So, anyone that we think has a chance, we’re going to run here for him.”

Joseph, who has roughly 150 horses in training, said there’s another straightforward reason for his expanded presence at Kentucky Downs – money. Kentucky Downs is scheduled to distribute more than $18 million in purses during the seven-day meeting that concludes Sept. 14. Maiden special weight races, for example, are worth $150,000, the highest figure in the world, according to Kentucky Downs officials. After starting eight horses in 2020 at Kentucky Downs and 10 last year, Joseph said his total could climb to as many as 30 this year.

“It’s the money that’s absolutely mind-blowing,” Joseph said. “I was thinking about this last night. I don’t think there’s any meet that has bigger purses than Kentucky Downs in the world, probably. You have to say it’s probably the biggest purses in the world.”

The Tapit is restricted to 3-year-olds and up that haven’t won a stakes race in 2022. It goes as the ninth of 10 races, with probable post time 4:57 p.m. (Central).

By Robert Yates – Kentucky Downs Press Release

Photo: Ramsey Solution training at Kentucky Downs (Grace Clark)

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