St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Ring Weekend is already in the top 20 standings in points for the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in May, and will use the $250,000 Calder Derby this Saturday at Calder Casino & Race Course as his final prep for the first leg of the Triple Crown.
The Calder Derby, to be run at 1 1/8 mile over the main track, drew a field of 10. Ring Weekend is the only horse entered in the Calder Derby who sits in the top 20 in points for the Kentucky Derby, currently ranked eleventh with 50 points and $210,000 in non-restricted stakes earnings.
Ring Weekend earned those 50 points with a win in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 8 at Tampa Bay Downs in his stakes debut, earning the win in the 1 1/16-mile race by three lengths after breaking in second and taking the lead for good as the pacesetter. The Tampa Bay Derby win came one race after the gelding broke his maiden on February 8 at Gulfstream Park in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight race.
Donegal Racing’s Cleburne is the only other graded stakes winner entered in the Calder Derby. He, too, has points for the Kentucky Derby, but sits thirty-fourth in the points standings with 10 points and $102,044 in non-restricted stakes earnings. The undefeated colt has not raced since scoring in his stakes debut in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs last September, where he earned those 10 points by a neck after racing in reserve and closing down the stretch to win. He also won his career debut, breaking his maiden in a 1-mile maiden special weight race on the turf last August at Ellis Park.
Four entrants for the Calder Derby have run in stakes races but did not win.
As a 2-year-old, Kathleen Amaya & Raffaele Centofanti’s Copa Del Rey competed in five stakes at Calder. His best stakes results came with a third-place finish in the 6-furlong Dr. Fager division of the Florida Stallion Stakes Series last July and a third-place finish in the 1 mile-70 yard Foolish Pleasure Stakes last September. Raut LLC’s Russian Humor finished fifth in both the 5 ½-furlong Strike Your Colors Stakes last July at Delaware Park and the 6-furlong Mountaineer Juvenile Stakes last August at Mountaineer Racetrack.
Raut LLC’s Racetrack Romance has made just one stakes appearance in his career, which came last August in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 2 With Anticipation Stakes on the turf at Saratoga Race Course, where he finished seventh. Anstu Stables, Inc.’s Our Caravan has made two stakes appearances so far, finishing eighth in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes in January at Gulfstream in his stakes debut and seventh in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes in February at Gulfstream.
Making their stakes debuts in the Calder Derby are allowance winner Gaining Ground for Donald P. Ogden; starter optional claiming winner Charlie the Boss for Carlos Oyola; maiden special weight winner Tapicero for All American Horses; and maiden special weight winner General Sham’mah for Gemini II Racing Stables LLC.
The Calder Derby is scheduled as the seventh race with an approximate post time of 4 p.m. Post time for the first race at Calder is 12:55 p.m.