Where's My Ring Ships In To Take Gazelle

Where's My Ring | Sarah Andrew

There's never a bad day to win your first race but Where's My Ring (Twirling Candy) sure picked an opportune day to do it, breaking her maiden and earning 100 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks with a dominant effort in the GIII Gazelle S. at Aqueduct Saturday.

A career maiden through seven starts, the $100,000 Keeneland September grad could perhaps be forgiven for running behind the likes of MGSW Dreamfyre (Flameaway), champion Just F Y I (Justify) in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and not once but twice to 'TDN Rising Star' Kinza (Carpe Diem). Five lengths behind in second to that runner last out in the GIII Santa Ysabel S. March. 9, trainer Val Brinkerhoff opted to ship Where's My Ring to Aqueduct after scratching his runner from last week's GII Fantasy S. at Oaklawn. Favored at 5-2 on the last day to earn qualifying points towards the first Friday in May, Where's My Ring broke with some speed from the inside gate but was quickly headed by Carmelina (Maximus Mischief) to her outside on the run into the first turn. Content to sit off that runner, the favorite was swarmed by a trio of runners and managed to hold third as the top five separated themselves from the second flight. Still glued to the fence around the far turn, Where's My Ring tipped outside of the dueling duo on the lead and ran them both down strongly, surging past 19-1 longshot Regulatory Risk (Omaha Beach) to graduate with her ears pricked on the line.

“It's not about breaking the maiden, we wanted to be in the Oaks, that was our goal,” admitted winning owner Michael McMillan. “I just got into horse racing, I met Val and Kelly Brinkerhoff and I told them 'I'm not in this for little races, we are in it for the big races.' I told them it was going to be the Kentucky Oaks. Everyone was shocked that we came here, but our whole team figured out the best race for us. It was a huge team effort.”

“I'm ecstatic to get a chance like this,” added Brinkerhoff. “I come from the bush tracks in Utah and to get to do this is pretty awesome. It's his [Michael McMillan's] first horse and I've had one in the Breeders' Cup where we ran third [Restrainedvengence in the 2021 Dirt Mile], but this filly has a lot of potential. It's been a long time getting to here and she's getting better and better, so hopefully by the Oaks, we'll be even better.”

Pedigree Note:

Twirling Candy is now represented by his 48th stakes winner and 18th graded winner. The first foal from her dam, Where's My Ring is out of a half to SW Merlazza (Medaglia d'Oro) and MGSP Gold Standard (Medaglia d'Oro). She is also similarly related to Saturday's GIII Distaff S. winner Shidabhuti (Practical Joke) as third dam Crystal Current, a $3.1m FTKNOV broodmare in 2008, is a daughter of Shidabhuti's third dam MGSIW Dream Supreme. Mapit had her 2-year-old McKinzie colt bring $300,000 from Klaravich Stable at the 2023 FTSAUG sale and she reported another colt by McKinzie this spring.


Saturday, Aqueduct
GAZELLE S.-GIII, $200,000, Aqueduct, 4-6, 3yo, f, 1 1/8m, 1:50.33, ft.
1–WHERE'S MY RING, 118, f, 3, by Twirling Candy
                1st Dam: Mapit, by Tapit
                2nd Dam: Mi Vida, by Distorted Humor
                3rd Dam: Crystal Current, by A.P. Indy
Ylg '22 KEESEP). O-Michael McMillan; B-Don Alberto
Corporation (KY); T-Val Brinkerhoff; J-Jose Lezcano.
$110,000. Lifetime Record: 8-1-3-1, $202,620.
Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree or
the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Regulatory Risk, 118, f, 3, Omaha Beach–
Walkwithapurpose, by Candy Ride (Arg). 1ST BLACK TYPE,
1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($235,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP).
O-Klaravich Stables, Inc.; B-Upson Downs Farm & Louis W.
Wright (KY); T-Chad C. Brown. $40,000.
3–Gin Gin, 120, f, 3, Hightail–Before You Know It, by Hard
Spun. 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. O/B-Calumet Farm;
T-Brad H. Cox. $24,000.
Margins: 4 1/4, 5 1/4, HF. Odds: 2.55, 19.20, 6.80.
Also Ran: Whocouldaskformo, Life Talk, Barbratina, Carmelina, Princess Vino, Munny Grab. Scratched: Six Pack Senorita.
Click for the Equibase.com chart or the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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