Fear the Kitten
Sire: Kitten's Joy
Trainer: Michael Maker
Owner: Frank D. Irvin
Notable Races: 5th, G1-Blue Grass Stakes; 5th, G3-Spiral Stakes; 2nd, G3-Southwest Stakes; 3rd, G3-Lecomte Stakes, 5th, G2-KY Jockey Club
Positives: Goodness. Talk about a pedigree. You can't find a pedigree that says "bred for grass" (or maybe synthetics) in America than a son of Kitten's Joy out of a Dynaformer mare. But, ironically, Fear the Kitten has never raced on grass (although he ran in an off-the-turf event at Churchill Downs last November). But while the breeding screams "turf", this colt has run over a dirt surface four times in his career with a single victory coming in that off-the-turf allowance race. So, on the "good" side of the ledger, this colt has won on dirt and at Churchill Downs in his career.
Fear the Kitten isn't going to show a whole lot of speed in the early parts of the race and will attempt to make one big run (or, more likely, one grinding run) coming off the far turn. He chugged up to get a piece of the prize in both the G3-Southwest Stakes and the G3-Lecomte, but he was over 10 lengths back of the winner in both of those instances.
The Kentucky Derby will be Fear the Kitten's sixth consecutive race at the graded stakes level; he's still looking for his first graded stakes victory.
Negatives: Fear the Kitten needs to get better in a hurry, or hope for a complete pace meltdown, to have a realistic shot at winning the Derby (assuming he actually gets into the field). He's a nice looking colt but he's yet to run a race this year that would come close to beating most of this year's field.
One other thing I found odd with Fear the Kitten: this colt was bred by Ken & Sarah Ramsey, breeders that have built their empire around their centerpiece sire, Kitten's Joy. In his debut race, Fear the Kitten was entered in a $40,000 Maiden Claiming race at Keeneland, from which he was promptly claimed by the current connections. The fact that they would offer this colt for a $40k tag first time out, given the Kitten's Joy/Dynaformer pedigree, suggests the that Ken Ramsey wasn't extremely high on this colt or, perhaps, former trainer Wayne Catalano just wanted to pull one of his patented "win the purse and the claiming cash" moves.