Lots of Stakes Action This Weekend
It’s a busy weekend of stakes action for West Point horses and our Partners.
Kicking things off on Saturday afternoon is grade one winner Ring Weekend in the $200,000 Baltimore/Washington International Turf Cup (G2) at Laurel. The millionaire is seeking his first win of 2017 after getting beat two lengths or less in three stakes this year. Trained by Graham Motion, he was most recently fourth in Bernard Baruch (G2) at Saratoga.
The Tapit gelding has been a bit sluggish away from the gate this year and left himself with too much to do in several of his races. He’ll get a brisk warm up under veteran Edgar Prado and can hopefully be within a few lengths of the pace.
As a 3-year-old Ring Weekend won the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), Saranac Stakes (G3), and Hill Prince Stakes (G3) before notching the biggest win of his career in the Kilroe Mile (G1) at Santa Anita as 4-year-old. Following over a year-long hiatus from racing, he set a track record in the Bernard Baruch (G2) at Saratoga in 2016 before getting beat only three lengths in the Breeders’ Cup and win the Seabiscuit Handicap (G2) in November.
Next up is Boreale in the $75,000 George Rosenberger Memorial Stakes at Delaware. The 4-year-old filly was purchased privately by West Point and imported to the United States following three wins in France.
In her first stateside start for Graham Motion, she won a Delaware allowance impressively before finishing third in listed stakes at Mountaineer and Kentucky Downs.
The Rosenberger Memorial is a great spot to get a stakes win on her resume, as it’s restricted to horses who have started at Delaware in 2017, with stakes races excluded.
Our next two runners are competing in major Breeders’ Cup prep races this weekend.
Handsome chestnut Breaking Lucky flew out to California from Canada is a live contender in the $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita. Trained by Reade Baker, he was most recently third to Gun Runner in the Whitney Stakes (G1) at Saratoga. He’ll be piloted by “Big Money” Mike Smith for the first time.
While he hasn’t gotten his picture taken this year, the son of Lookin at Lucky has provided us with some thrills, getting beat just a neck in the New Orleans Handicap and hitting the board in both the Stephen Foster and the Whitney. He’s a gorgeous animal who “shines like a copper penny.”
On Sunday, sweet 2-year-old filly Best Performance looks to stamp her ticket to Del Mar when she takes on eight in the $200,000 Miss Grillo Stakes (G3) at Belmont. Trained by Christophe Clement, the Broken Vow filly is coming off a second-place finish in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies earlier this month.
The filly’s never run a bad race and has shown versatility, running well on both dirt and turf After breaking her maiden in May in a $100,000 maiden special weight at Belmont, she’s been second in three stakes, including the grade three Schuylerville at Saratoga.
She didn’t have a great trip at Kentucky Downs, and the ground was on the soft side. Trainer Christophe Clement thinks the filly could be a monster over firm ground, which she should get on Sunday.
All of our weekend runners: