Sarah Ramsey, the best breeder and owner of purebred animals, dies at the age of 83

Sarah Ramsey, who along with her husband Ken bred and participated in numerous Breeders Cup champions and won 510 leading races in Churchill Downs, has died. She was 83 years old.

She died Sunday at her home in Nicholasville, Kentucky, Churchill spokeswoman Darren Rogers was told by Ken Ramsey. The cause of death is not specified.

“It is with great sadness that we share the death of Sarah Katherine Ramsey,” Churchill Downs President Mike Anderson said Monday night. “Our hearts are with Ken and his whole family at this very difficult time. She has lived a wonderful life and we will miss her smiling face surrounded by the winner of Churchill-Down ”.

In 2007, Ramsey had a severe stroke that affected her speech and paralyzed her right side. She used a wheelchair to race.

The couple made their fortune by investing in radios and mobile phones. They owned cell tower companies in five states, including Kentucky, one of which they sold for $ 39 million in 1994 and used the money to buy their 1,200-acre farm.

Their most famous horse was Kitten’s Joy, who won nine of his 14 career starts and earned $ 2 million. The couple used a “kitten” for many of their native horses – so Ken gave her the nickname Sarah when they met in 1954.

They also named their horses after family members and honored the late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel with a horse nicknamed Bobby’s Kitten and fellow breeder and owner Meryl Whitney with a horse nicknamed Thank you Meryl.

Perry Martin, who co-owned the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness California Chrome winner, laughed at Ramsey, calling the mare Not a Kitten.

According to Equibase, the pair had 2,241 winners and career profits of more than $ 98 million. They won four Eclipse Awards for both outstanding owners and two for outstanding breeders, and led North American owners in profits in 2013 and 2014.

The couple were frequent participants in the Breeders’ Cup, starting with 44 horses at the World Championships. They have won four times, most recently in 2015 with Stephanie Kitten at Filly & Mare Turf.

Although the Ramseys were the leading owners a record 32 times at the Churchill Downs, their success did not lead to the Kentucky Derby, where they were 0 to 7. Their best result was in 2003, when Ten Cents A Shine was eighth .

The pair’s only starting start at Belmont Stakes was in 2005, when Nolan’s Cote took third place.

Born Artemus, Kentucky, she was the daughter of a coal miner. She graduated from Union College and married Ken in 1958. She helped him run various businesses.

Ramsey is survived by Ken and their children Kelly, Jeff, Jill and Scott.


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