Ring Weekend and jockey Drayden Van Dyke (outside) win the Grade II $ 200,000 Seabiscuit Handicap Saturday, November 26, 2016 16 Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar, CA. ©Benoit Photo©Benoit Photo
Eastern-based trainer H. Graham Motion and jockey Drayden Van Dyke collaborated to sweep Del Mar’s stakes doubleheader on a rainy afternoon Saturday, winning the Grade III $ 100,000 Jimmy Durante Stakes with Journey Home and the Grade II $ 200,000 Seabiscuit Handicap with hard-hitting Ring Weekend.
“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. He was good. This is the first time I’ve won two stakes in one day. Feels good.”
Ring Weekend, owned by St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds, prevailed by a head over Vyjack, with 3-2 favored Om another half-length behind in third. Hunt was fourth in the field of eight older horses.
Ring Weekend, a five-year-old gelded son of Tapit, stepped the mile and one-sixteenth on turf in 1:42.29 in registering his seventh victory in 20 starts. The winner’s prize was $ 120,000 and increased his earnings to $ 1,448,744. Second choice in the betting at 3-1, Ring Weekend paid $ 8, $ 4 and $ 2.80. Vyjack paid $ 4.80 and $ 2.40, while Om returned $ 2.20 to show.
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