Ring Weekend healthy and ready to go for Preakness

awincze@herald-leader.comMay 10, 2014 

Grade II winner Ring Weekend, who missed the Kentucky Derby after spiking a fever the week of the race, was confirmed for a start in the Preakness Stakes after working 6 furlongs in 1:13.20 at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland on Saturday morning.

Trainer Graham Motion said Ring Weekend missed about four days of training after he was found to have a temperature of just over 102 degrees the Sunday before the first leg of the Triple Crown.

In his first move since that infection, the son of Tapit satisfied Motion as well as owners West Point Thoroughbreds and St. Elias Stable that he was ready to face Kentucky Derby hero California Chrome in the 13⁄16-mile Preakness on May 17.

"I'm inclined to take a shot (in the Preakness)," Motion said Saturday morning. "To be honest, I wanted to see him work like he did leading up to the Derby because I thought he worked awesome that week. It was important he had a decent work because he's obviously missed a bit of training.

"He had a good work, he galloped out a mile in 1:41 so I felt very good about the way he did it."

Ring Weekend won the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby on March 8 but followed that up with a disappointing second-place effort in the Calder Derby April 5.

"He's going to have to run like he did at Tampa, not like he did at Calder obviously," Motion said.

Alan Garcia is slated to have the mount on Ring Weekend for the Preakness.

As of Saturday, a field of 10 looks possible for the Preakness. California Chrome, Ride On Curlin and General a Rod are the only returnees from the Kentucky Derby. Other probable contenders are Pablo Del Monte, Kid Cruz, Social Inclusion, Dynamic Impact, Bayern, Ring Weekend and the filly Ria Antonia.

Pablo Del Monte works

Pablo Del Monte, third-place finisher in the Grade I Blue Grass Stakes, breezed 6 furlongs in company in 1:12.20 at Keeneland on Saturday, his final workout for the Preakness.

Jockey Jeffrey Sanchez, who will ride Pablo Del Monte in the Preakness, was aboard for the breeze as they galloping out 7 furlongs in 1:25. The son of Giant's Causeway is slated to ship from Lexington to Baltimore on Monday.

Alicia Wincze Hughes: (859) 231-1676. Blog: horseracing.bloginky.com. Twitter: @horseracinghl.

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