Benoit Photo

Ring Weekend Auditions for Ascot in San Gabriel

Son of Tapit is under consideration for the Queen Anne Stakes (GIT) at Royal Ascot.

St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds' Ring Weekend has won races in Florida, New York, and California, but his next start could determine whether he'll try the international stage.

Following a score in the Seabiscuit Handicap (G2T) Nov. 26 at Del Mar, the 6-year-old son of Tapit  will look to win his second straight Southern California turf stakes in the $200,000 San Gabriel (G2T) Jan. 7, but it's also an audition of sorts for trainer Graham Motion.

BALAN: Ring Weekend Edges Vyjack in Seabiscuit 'Cap

Motion said Jan. 4 that if Ring Weekend runs well, a freshening could be ahead with plans to ship to England for the Queen Anne Stakes (GIT) at Royal Ascot in June.

"This race will decide what we do for the rest of the winter," Motion said. "He's been in training for almost a year now, so if we're going to freshen him up for a possible trip to England, it wouldn't be a bad time. But he needs to keep performing well to even consider that challenge.

"It's something I've mentioned before with this horse. It's something I think he's capable of doing and he's handled soft ground in the past."

Motion has tried Royal Ascot in recent years with Miss Temple City, who ran fourth in both the 2015 Coronation Stakes (G1T) and the 2016 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (G2T), but pointed to Tepin's win in last year's Queen Anne and to trainer Wesley Ward's recent success at Royal Ascot for encouragement.

"Now that I've done it a few times, I'm getting a little braver with it," said Motion, who was raised in the village of Herringswell in England. "Tepin showed last year that it can be done. She's exceptional and I know it will be a challenge for us."

Ring Weekend—who also won the Bernard Baruch Handicap (G2T) in 2016, along with the 2015 editions of the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1T), Hill Prince (G3T), and Saranac (G3T) in 2016—is one of six graded stakes winners in the field of 12, along with Flamboyant, Syntax, Conquest Daddyo, Quick Casablanca, and Point Piper.

Two-time Brazilian group I winner Some in Tieme provides some international flavor in his first U.S. start and first under the care of trainer Paulo Lobo. The 5-year-old Brazilian-bred son of Shirocco has only raced six times in his career and has three wins, including the March 12 Longines Gran Premio Latinoamericano (G1T), his last start.

Entries: San Gabriel S. (G2T)

Santa Anita Park, Saturday, January 07, 2017, Race 9

  • Grade IIT
  • 1 1/8m
  • Turf
  • $200,000
  • 4 yo's & up
  • 4:30 PM (local)
11Blue Tone (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateKent J. Desormeaux120Robert B. Hess, Jr.12/1
22Point Piper (KY)Mario Gutierrez122Jerry Hollendorfer8/1
33Flamboyant (FR)Flavien Prat122Patrick Gallagher4/1
45Itsinthepost (FR)Tyler Baze120Jeff Mullins10/1
56Conquest Daddyo (ON)Keeneland Sales GraduateLuis Contreras120John W. Sadler15/1
67A Red Tie Day (KY)Corey S. Nakatani120Richard Baltas6/1
78Quick Casablanca (CHI)Gonzalo Gabriel Ulloa Perez122Ronald L. McAnally15/1
89Twentytwentyvision (KY)Mike E. Smith120Richard E. Mandella4/1
910Perfectly Majestic (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateVictor Espinoza120Robert B. Hess, Jr.8/1
1011Ring Weekend (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateDrayden Van Dyke125H. Graham Motion5/2
1112Some in Tieme (BRZ)Tiago Josue Pereira122Paulo H. Lobo20/1