Oldsmar, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Longshot Ring Weekend set the pace and was never challenged in winning Saturday's $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs.
The chestnut gelding, ridden by Daniel Centeno, broke sharply out of the gate versus nine rivals in the 1 1/16-mile stakes.
Trained by Graham Motion, Ring Weekend took the field through the backstretch and into the far turn with very little pressure. The gelding opened his advantage on the final turn and had a clear lead at the top of the stretch.
Sent off at 14-1, Ring Weekend posted a three-length victory in his first non- maiden race and earned 50 points toward a start in this year's Kentucky Derby.
Finishing second was Sam F. Davis Stakes winner Vinceremos followed by Surfing U S A, 5-2 favorite Conquest Titan, Matador, Cousin Stephen, Hy Kodiak Warrior, East Hall, Coltimus Prime and Tuscan Getaway.
The time for the Tampa Bay Derby was 1:43.71 on a fast track.
Ring Weekend, owned by St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds, won for just the second time in six starts. Saturday's win was worth $210,000 as the gelding won his stakes debut effort.
The 3-year-old broke his maiden in his fifth career start on Feb. 8 at Gulfstream Park. He has earned $255,660 with two wins, a second and two thirds.
Ring Weekend returned $30.00, $10.20 and $8.60. Vinceremos paid $6.00 and $3.80, and Surfing U S A paid $5.20 to show.