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Breeders' Cup 2017
HRN Original Blog:
From Coast to Coast

Ring Weekend upsets Tampa Bay Derby in front-running fashion

Ring Weekend Tampa Bay Derby 615 X 400
Photo: SV Photography
All eyes were on the trio of favorites in the G2 Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs. Instead of morning line second choice Conquest Titan making a better accounting at a fairer track, Vinceremos completing the Sam F. Davis/Tampa Bay Derby double, or Surfing U S A grabbing his first graded stakes score, newcomer Ring Weekend entered the fray and exited with 50 points toward getting in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May.
Breaking from the rail under jockey Daniel Centeno, Ring Weekend sprinted straight to the lead. Surfing U S A and Tuscan Getaway went with him early, and the opening quarter went in 23:62. Those two could not keep pace, however, and Ring Weekend opened up on them and the rest of the field by 3 ½ lengths at the ½ mile call, passing that poll in 46:68. The gelding hit the ¾-mile call in 1:11.41, clear by 5 lengths, and  led by as much as 8 lengths at one point.
Behind him, Tuscan Getaway, part of the pace in the early stages, gave way and was through after the first half. Vinceremos was kept back behind the leaders, pressing the pace while having targets to run at when the serious racing began. Cousin Stephen and Hy Kodiak Warrior made middle moves to get as close as third and fifth respectively before backing right back out of it.
When the field turned for home, Vinceremos gamely went after Ring Weekend, but could only close to within 3 lengths of the winner, holding off third place finisher Surfing U S A by ¾-length. It was another length back to the post time favorite Conquest Titan. By virtue of their finishes, Ring Weekend earned 50 points, Vinceremos earned 20 points, Surfing U S A earned 10 points, and Conquest Titan earned 5 points towards getting into the Kentucky Derby.
The order of finish was completed by Matador, Cousin Stephen, Hy Kodiak Warrior, East Hall, Coltimus Prime and Tuscan Getaway. 
Ring Weekend completed the 8.5 furlong Tampa Bay Derby in 1:43.71, just six-tenths of a second off the stakes record set by Street Sense in 2007. Sent off as a 14-1 outsider, Ring Weekend returned $30.00/$10.20/$8.60 for the win. Third betting choice Vinceremos paid $6.00/$3.80, and fifth betting choice Surfing U S A paid $5.20 for the show. A $2 exacta wager returned $291.60, the $2 trifecta paid $1,900.80, and the $1 superfecta was worth $3,438.10.
Winning trainer Graham Motion admitted to some lack of confidence going in, stating, “I wouldn’t say my confidence was high, but I really thought he was legit…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. I think the others kind of left him alone because they possibly didn’t consider him a legit horse and he got away with it. When the jockey looks behind him that much, you feel like he has a lot left. I could never have anticipated him winning like that.”
Daniel Centeno, who was aboard Ring Weekend for the win, said after the race that his ride wasn’t without some anxious seconds, “Coming out of the inside post I had to get him to start well, but when I got to the first turn it was like he got mad at me for not letting him run. He wasn’t rank, he was just full of himself and I had to give him his head. I knew I was clear of the field and I didn’t want to get run down and I was able to get him to relax and save something for the stretch. He was looking around getting into the stretch and I was getting concerned, but when he switched leads he just took off again.”
Hall of Famer Edgar Prado was far from disappointed with how Vinceremos, winner of the Sam F. Davis, ran. “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,” he explained.
By Tapit, and out of the Cryptoclearance mare, Free the Magic, Ring Weekend is owned in partnership by St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds. The gelding was consigned to the Keeneland 2012 September Yearling Sale by breeder Gainesway Thoroughbreds where he was purchased by his current connections for $310,000. With today’s win, Ring Weekend improved his career record to 6: 2-1-2 for total earnings of $255,660. Both wins came in his last two starts and were over fast dirt, a surface he had not previously tried until the start prior to today's. 


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Older Comments about Ring Weekend upsets Tampa Bay Derby in front-running fashion...

Congrats Graham, Westpoint Team and St. Elias and partners! So exciting to go to Derby! :)
  • Yayasister · Are you in with BAN V (I'm in with them)? We're going to derby!!! See you there! · 1316 days ago
  • Yayasister · Are you in with BAN V (I'm in with them)? We're going to derby!!! See you there! · 1316 days ago
Keyed Conquest with Venemous, Ring, and horse running off of syn #4; tri was killed by surfing; not surprising but key is that ring can run 1/1-16 and 1/4. My reservation is his front running style.
Congrats to MOTION. He knew this guy would run big. He is so SHARP
94 BSF for Ring Weekend.
I guess there is a reason why Daniel Centeno has won so many races at Tampa Bay Downs.

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Meet Ashley Tamulonis

Despite growing up in a non-horse racing state, Ashley has been a fan of the sport since a young age. Her love for horse racing was fostered through the kids’ book series Thoroughbred by Joanna Campbell, and it was her love of reading and horses that led her to educate herself on the ins and outs of the sport. Since becoming actively involved in the industry just a few short years ago, Ashley has had the opportunity to meet many important players in the industry, attend the Eclipse Awards, see personal favorite Mucho Macho Man race twice in person, and get to personally meet and befriend many of the fantastic fans and horsemen involved in the sport.


Before joining Horse Racing Nation, Ashley created her own blog Wired with Ashley Paige. The idea to venture into the world of blogging came to her when she realized that she had much to say about horse racing and no one to say it to at the time. Ashley began her time with Horse Racing Nation blogging as The Florida Filly. Using that moniker, she mainly covered racing in South Florida but also blogged about nationwide racing, industry issues, and from time to time offered her opinion on how various changes could be beneficial to the industry as a whole. A move north to New Hampshire began both a new chapter in both Ashley's personal life and professional life. She currently pens the new From Coast to Coast blog for HRN, which is simply a revamped version of The Florida Filly. Don't let the new look and name change fool you, though. Ashley still brings to the table the same great coverage as From Coast to Coast as she did for The Florida Filly. Ashley also participates as a voter in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Polls.


An alumni of Macon State College, Ashley is from Central Georgia but is currently living in New Hampshire with her husband Chris and their two sons Charlie and Michael. A stay-at-home mom, Ashley juggles parenting with blogging and her other passions. Aside from horse racing, Ashley is a fervent football fan, enjoys reading and studying history, and hopes to someday author a historical work covering the Tudor period as well as biographies of horse racing’s stars, equine and human alike.

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