05/10/2014 10:36AM

Ring Weekend confirmed for Preakness

Tom Keyser
The Tampa Bay Derby winner Ring Weekend, who scratched from the Kentucky Derby due to an illness, has been confirmed as a runner in the Preakness at Pimlico.

Ring Weekend, the Tampa Bay Derby winner, was confirmed as a starter for the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes at Pimlico after trainer Graham Motion was pleased with the way the horse worked Saturday morning at Fair Hill.

Motion said Ring Weekend worked six furlongs in 1:13.20, edging away from a workmate late over the dirt surface at Fair Hill. Exercise rider Alice Clapham was up for the move.

“I thought he worked very well, very pleased with it,” said Motion, who trains Ring Weekend for the West Point Thoroughbreds partnership. “He galloped out a good seven-eighths, and I had him out a mile in 1:41. It was a very similar work that he had leading up to the Derby.”

Two days after he worked for the Derby, Ring Weekend developed a temperature and was scratched from the race. At the time, Motion said he was hopeful to make the Preakness. Motion said Ring Weekend missed a couple of days of training and one work.

“We were inclined to take a shot if the week went well and he worked well, and he did,” Motion said.

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Ring Weekend will be one of seven non-Derby starters expected to take on California Chrome in the Preakness.

Motion said he was impressed with the way California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby, but Motion knows all too well things can be different in Baltimore. Motion won the 2011 Kentucky Derby with Animal Kingdom, who broke poorly and finished second to Shackleford in the Preakness.

“I thought Animal Kingdom was the best horse, and he didn’t break well. It just goes to show you how hard it is,” Motion said.

Alan Garcia will ride Ring Weekend in the Preakness.

Motion said Ring Weekend likely would ship Thursday to Pimlico, which is the day all Preakness horses must be on the grounds.