05/14/2014 11:24AM

Ring Weekend fashionably late to Pimlico

Barbara D. Livingston
Ring Weekend missed the Kentucky Derby with a fever, but is coming up to the Preakness in good shape, trainer Graham Motion said.

BALTIMORE – Ring Weekend was scheduled to be the last Preakness starter to arrive at Pimlico. He was to ship down Thursday morning from his base at Fair Hill in northern Maryland.

This is standard procedure for trainer Graham Motion, who prefers to keep his horses at the bucolic training center as long as possible.

Ring Weekend would have run in the Kentucky Derby had he not come down with a temperature the Sunday before the race.

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“It was 102,” Motion said. “We were actually fortunate he came down with it before we shipped because that could’ve had a more significant effect. He missed four days of training, but he’s great now. I missed one work with him, but it wasn’t a huge issue. He’s pretty fit and pretty athletic, not robust at all, and he had a good work over the weekend to compensate. I’m very happy with how he’s coming up to this race.”

For Motion, a Preakness victory would be particularly special: He has been a Maryland resident since moving here a quarter-century ago from England. He and his wife, Anita, live in Fair Hill with their children, Jane and Marcus.