Ring Weekend Overcomes Weather and Pace Setters to Win Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar
On a wet, windy and rainy day at Del Mar, Ring Weekend rallied wide and made a late move to hold off Vyjack and win the $200,000 Seabiscuit Handicap (G2). The victory over the firm turf course was the second stakes win of the day for trainer Graham Motion and 22-year old jockey Drayden Van Dyke, as the duo won the $100,000 Jimmy Durante Stakes with Journey Home two races earlier.
Ring Weekend, a 5-year-old gelding by Tapit, earned his sixth graded stakes win going 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.29. Vyjack, running seventh at the half mile pole just behind Ring Weekend, made a bid between horses in the stretch and came up a head short to finish second.
Ring Weekend paid $8.00, $4.00 and $2.40 and picked up $120,ooo winners share to increase his career earnings to more than $1.4 million. Vyjack paid $4.80 and $2.40. Race favorite On finished third after setting the fractions with What a View, who faded to sixth.
Ring Weekend finished 7th in the Breeders’ Cup Mile as a huge long shot. His assistant trainer Alice Clapham said “He was a little restless in the gate and broke slow,” in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. But “We knew he had that kick,” said Clapham after Ring Weekend rallied home to win the Seabiscuit.
“This race set up on paper that I thought would be perfect for us,” Van Dyke said of the Seabiscuit. “Then it played out just that way. It was sweet. We got into the lane and I let him do his thing. He was having a little trouble swapping his leads, but Graham (trainer H. Graham Motion) had told me about that and I was ready for it. About the sixteenth pole he swapped to his right lead and that gave us an extra burst.”