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Put A Ring Around Him

Posted by on 3/10/2014 9:34:58 PM

Some say speed kills but astute online sports betting site players know there is no more important an asset than velocity and Ring Weekend proved it in spades in the Tampa Bay Derby on Saturday.

Disregarded at 14-1, the son of Tapit went :23.62 in the opening quarter mile and just kept on going earning 50 points in the process toward eligibility toward the Kentucky Derby. He got the half mile in :46.68, set a legit 6 furlong time of 1:11.41 and competed the mile and a sixteenth in 1:43.71 to earn $210,000 of the $350,000 purchase.

The sophomore, who was ridden by perennial leading Tampa Bay jockey Daniel Centeno, earned a 94 Beyer Speed Figure and fully took advantage of his cozy rail post.

The favorite Conquest Titan only had 2 horses beat early, made a little move to get within 6 lengths of the lead at the top of the lane but came up short when fourth.

The first 3 runners after a half-mile ran first, third and second respectively. Todd Pletcher had to settle for running 2nd and third and Ring Weekend is in the clever hands of Graham Motion, who trained the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom.

Motion was comfortable going into the race, Motion: “I wouldn’t say my confidence was high but I really thought he was legit. I took him to Saratoga to break his maiden; that’s how much I liked him. I think gelding him got his mind on the game. I just left the ride to Daniel. I knew he could take advantage of the post position because the inside was good today and to just make sure he broke well and put him where he is comfortable.”

In the last 7 years, 2 exited the Tampa Bay Derby to win the Kentucky Derby. Street Sense did it in 2007 and Super Saver pulled it off in 2010.

The gelded angle is a very potent one in this sport. With young horses, their mind can wander and they can focus on the fillies rather than the job at hand. After being gelding, their energy has to go somewhere and often times it is reflected in much better performances on the track.

The runner-up Vinceremos had no apparent excuse according to his rider, Edgar Prado: “He did everything just right. We got good position tracking the group behind the leader. He was relaxed running with other horses like he usually is and when I asked him to run, he ran past horses quickly. But the winner was gone.”

As far as the winner is concerned he had a legit excuse in his debut when he caught the slop and he finally got a shot to show his natural speed. His sire was a Grade 1 winner routing, his dam was best on turf but she dropped successful router Champ Safi. This is a big step to face Graded foes right after graduating.

Ring Weekend’s winning Beyer is a big soft compared to Street Sense, who earned a 102 in this race but Super Saver only earned a 93 Beyer winning in Tampa.

As far as what’s next for Ring Weekend, his connections have options. The Louisiana Derby or the Florida Derby could be next and both will go on March 29. Or Motion could wait another week and take a look at the Wood Memorial on April 5. That would give him about 4 weeks before the Kentucky Derby.

Motion used the Grade 3 Spiral as a final prep for Animal Kingdom but there was not a point system in place to qualify for that Derby at that time.

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