Toasting Master & Ring Weekend Highlight Big Weekend for WPT
It’s an action-packed Saturday for West Point Partners, as the stable has two horses competing in graded stakes races. Sophomore Toasting Master looks to earn valuable Kentucky Derby qualifying points and the talented Ring Weekend seeks his first grade 1 win.
Dale Romans trainee Toasting Master was originally pointing for the Tampa Bay Derby, but Terry Finley called an audible on Tuesday afternoon and the colt is now entered in the $400,000 Gotham Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct.
With both Stonestreet colts, Ocean Knight and Carpe Diem, running in the Tampa Bay Derby and Withers winner Far From Over waiting for the Wood Memorial, the Gotham is a better spot for this colt. Many NY-based horses have missed several days of training this winter due to the weather, whereas Toasting Master is dead fit and hasn’t missed a beat since shipping to Florida.
Purchased at the 2014 OBS March Sale, Toasting Master broke his maiden on November 9 at Churchill before coming back and breaking through the first level allowance condition on November 29. In his most recent effort, he finished fourth in the OBS Champions Stakes.
“This colt is naturally very talented,” said WPT president Terry Finley. “He’s trained well at Gulfstream over the past few weeks and has every right to move forward second time around two turns. I’m not sure how far he ultimately wants to go, but now is the time to give him the opportunity to become an upper echelon three-year-old. There’s no doubt that he needs to take a step forward, but I definitely think we have a fitness edge over some of the other horses in the field.”
The Gotham is race 9 on Aqueduct’s Saturday card with post time at 4:50 ET. Toasting Master breaks from post 7 under Angel Arroyo.
A little less than three hours after the Gotham, Ring Weekend tries to notch his first grade 1 win in the $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1) at Santa Anita. The handsome Graham Motion trainee shipped out to California on February 24 after he was scratched out of the February 21 Canadian Turf at Gulfstream due to a far outside draw in a field of 14.
Ring Weekend had a tremendous 3-year-old season, earning $842,150 and capturing the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), Saranac Stakes (G3), and Hill Prince Stakes (G3).
A frequent Main Sequence workmate, the son of Tapit posted six strong works over the Palm Meadows turf course before shipping to the West Coast. Click here to see photos of him paddock schooling and galloping at Santa Anita this week.
“The horse has really done super the last few weeks,” said Motion. “We were disappointed that he drew a bad post in the Canadian Turf because I thought he’d be very tough in that spot. The Kilroe is a strong race, but not tremendously tougher than the Canadian for more than double the purse.”
The Kilroe Mile is race 10 on Santa Anita’s Saturday card with a 4:30 PT post time. Ring Weekend breaks from post 10 under young up- and-comer Drayden Van Dyke.
Ring Weekend winning the 2014 Hill Prince Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park: