By J.J. Hysell
He lingers in the shadows of the more famous 3-year-old sons of Tapit, Florida Derby winner Constitution and Rebel Stakes runner-up Tapiture.
Ring Weekend, winner of the Tampa Bay Derby trained by Graham Motion, is the definition of an under-the-radar Kentucky Derby contender. He could move into the spotlight, however, as we draw closer to the first Saturday in May.
This gelding by Tapit is taking the unconventional route of training at Calder. He’s likely to have his last prep in the Calder Derby on April 5. The Calder surface is known for being a deep surface that is renowned for conditioning and building fitness.
Unlike some of his rivals – including Constitution, Rebel winner Hoppertunity and California-based Bayern – Ring Weekend has a solid foundation as a 2-year-old. He’s performed well on all three surfaces, although he seems to prefer dirt. Ring Weekend also boasts a top-notch pedigree with a strong stamina influence on the dam side in Cryptoclearance, who won at 10 furlongs.
Here’s video of Ring Weekend’s sharp work (5f, 1:00.40) at Calder on March 28. Note his effortless stride and smooth motion.