Tampa Bay Derby winner Ring Weekend to miss Run for the Roses
Ring Weekend is out of the Kentucky Derby because of a fever and infection.
The decision on the Tampa Bay Derby winner and Calder Derby runner-up was announced Sunday by Churchill Downs.
Ring Weekend is trained by Graham Motion and had not yet shipped to Churchill Downs from Fair Hill, Md. He was ranked 14th in Derby points standings. Now that he’s out, Commanding Curve joins the field for Saturday’s race and will be ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan.
Ring Weekend and Commanding Curve are both owned by West Point Thoroughbreds.
Commanding Curve was third in the Louisiana Derby in his last start and is trained by Dallas Stewart. Stewart’s Golden Soul finished second in last year’s Kentucky Derby at 35-1.
In other Derby news Sunday:
* Todd Pletcher’s four Derby contenders worked at Churchill Downs, and the trainer was pleased with all but one of the trips.
* Wood Memorial winner Wicked Strong arrived at Churchill. Uncle Sigh, fifth in the Wood, arrived late Saturday and jogged on the track Sunday.
* Likely Derby favorite California Chrome is expected to arrive from California on Monday.
Pletcher’s We Miss Artie, the Spiral Stakes winner owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, worked four furlongs in 49.2 seconds in tandem with Louisiana Derby runner-up Intense Holiday. Intense Holiday’s work drew rave reviews from Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez, who was aboard the colt for the first time and will ride him in the Derby.
The report wasn’t so glowing for We Miss Artie, whose wins have come on synthetic and turf. Pletcher said it was We Miss Artie’s worst work over dirt.
Pletcher said Vinceremos, whose Derby status was dependent on Sunday’s work with stablemate Danza, passed the test and is likely to run. Vinceremos was last in the Blue Grass Stakes in his last start.