Ring Weekend Tries to Give Motion First Preakness Win
West Point Thoroughbreds’ and St. Elias Stable’s Ring Weekend is set to contest the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, the 139th Preakness Stakes (G1) on Saturday at Pimlico Racecourse.
After breaking his maiden in February at Gulfstream Park, the chestnut son of Tapit cruised to an impressive victory in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) before finishing second in the Calder Derby in early April.
Withdrawn from Kentucky Derby consideration six days before the race due to a fever, he rebounded and worked six furlongs in 1:13 1/5 before galloping out a mile in 1:41 on May 10 at Fair Hill Training Center.
“He worked super,” said trainer Graham Motion. “I was most impressed with his gallop out. He was several lengths ahead of his workmate and acted like he could around there again. I see no reason why he shouldn’t be able to handle the distance.”
Watch Ring Weekend’s final breeze in preparation for the Preakness Stakes:
“Of course we were disappointed to miss the Derby with this horse, but things happen for a reason,” said WPT president Terry Finley. “When he first spiked the fever we thought we might be up against it to make the Preakness, but he’s really had a strong last week to 10 days of training and instilled quite a bit of confidence in Graham with his work over the weekend.”
Ring Weekend will become the third Preakness starter to carry the black and gold silks. Macho Again finished second in 2008 and King Congie finished seventh in 2011. Should he win the Preakness, Ring Weekend would become just the eighth gelding to do so. Click here to read read Esther Marr’s “Gelded Ring Weekend Seeks Rare Preakness Win.”
“We’re thrilled to be participating in the Preakness again,” said WPT COO Tom Bellhouse. “It’s exciting for the Partners to be heading to Baltimore after the disappointment of the Derby. Pimlico does a great job and there’s nothing like the party atmosphere on Preakness day. We have a fresh horse who is doing great physically, and as much as we’d like to see a Triple Crown winner, we’re ready to take it to California Chrome.”
Bred in Kentucky by Gainesway Thoroughbreds, Ring Weekend was purchased by Terry Finley at the 2012 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.