Ken Ramsey’s pushed persona allowed him to beat humble beginnings, together with a childhood house in Artemis, Ky., that lacked indoor plumbing, to make a fortune in trucking, actual property and mobile telephones and to turn into one of many high homeowners and breeders in the US.
He and his spouse, Sarah Kathern, received the Eclipse Award as main thoroughbred homeowners in North America in 2004, 2011, 2013 and 2014. They received the Eclipse Award as main breeders in 2013 and 2014. He fulfilled certainly one of his ambitions when the jockey John Velazquez rode Roses in Might to victory within the $6 million Dubai World Cup in 2005.
Ramsey, 83, is accustomed to attaining what he needs. Sure targets in racing, although, have been maddeningly elusive, together with a stakes victory at Royal Ascot.
“The Royal Ascot factor,” he mentioned, “that’s going to remain on my bucket record till I kick the bucket.”
In a quest that started in 2001, he has endured two exasperatingly shut second-place finishes from amongst 15 starters, in accordance with Racenews, at what he describes as “the world’s best meet.”
Steaming House positioned second within the five-furlong Windsor Fortress Stakes in 2001. Cannonball narrowly missed within the six-furlong Diamond Jubilee Stakes in 2009.
Circumstances surrounding Cannonball’s livid cost spur Ramsey all of the extra. Cannonball initially ran within the five-furlong King’s Stand Stakes on opening day of the meet, ending sixth for Velazquez. The horse was so stuffed with late run and galloped out so strongly after crossing the end line that Velazquez advisable to the coach Wesley Ward that he make the unorthodox transfer of bringing again the horse on three days’ relaxation to compete within the Diamond Jubilee.
When Ward agreed, there was one main downside. Velazquez mentioned he couldn’t stay in England as a result of he was dedicated to a driving project at Belmont Park in New York on the identical day because the Diamond Jubilee. Ward reluctantly changed Velazquez with Olivier Peslier.
“Had we had Johnny, who knew the horse and had confidence in him, I’m sure he would have received,” Ward mentioned.
Ramsey was so offended that he refused to have Velazquez, a member of the Nationwide Museum of Racing’s Corridor of Fame, experience any of his horses for one yr. Velazquez this month confirmed Ramsey’s response, however emphasised the unbreakable nature of his commitments.
Ramsey thought he had one other shot in 2011 when Ward, whose horses are recognized for blazing begins, saddled Vacation for Kitten within the King’s Stand Stakes. She languished in 13th in a defeat that underscores racing’s vagaries. She had her head down and was sick ready when the beginning gate opened.
“It was a dash race,” mentioned Jeff Ramsey, Ken Ramsey’s son, “they usually have been all gone by the point she realized the bell had rung.”
Ward constructed his repute by going abroad to supply 10 Royal Ascot victories. He’s disillusioned he has been unable to ship for Ramsey.
“I simply thought it will have come by now,” the coach mentioned. “Sadly, it hasn’t.”
Gianluca Bietolini, Chad Brown, David Lanigan and Dermot Weld additionally fell brief for Ramsey after being charged with growing a Royal Ascot winner.
Ramsey factors to at least one Royal Ascot spotlight. He was invited to affix Queen Elizabeth II for tea on the observe in 2009, which he mentioned lasted for 35 minutes.
Upon arriving on the suite, Ramsey mentioned he informed the queen, “Ma’am, I consider you’ve bought one of the best seat in the home.”
When tea arrived, he mentioned the queen provided cream and sugar. “No, ma’am,” he responded. “I drink mine straight up.”
To which she replied, “Oh, just like the bourbon in Kentucky.”
Ramsey, additionally and not using a Kentucky Derby victory, yearns to obtain a trophy from the queen after a Royal Ascot triumph. He’s lowering an operation that numbered about 700 horses to at least one with fewer than 100 in an effort to enhance high quality. He’s permitting Ward his decide of about 90 yearlings with the hope that just a few may turn into high Royal Ascot prospects.
“Good issues come to those that wait,” Ward mentioned. “I do know he’s waited a very long time, however we’re going to do it for him.”