Ohio Derby (gr. II) champion Delightful Kiss and Lone Star Derby (gr. III) winner Slew’s Tizzy headline a field of 10 for the 38th running of the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort Aug. 4.
The racetrack’s signature event is for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on the main track. A post-position draw is scheduled for 10 a.m. EDT Aug. 1.
Four starters in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) are entered for Saturday’s race: Bwana Bull, Dominican, Sam P., and Zanjero. Dale Romans, who won the West Virginia Derby last year with Bright One, will send longshot Dr Googles Boogles to the gate, while WinStar Derby champion Song of Navarone, allowance winner Norjac, and Lone Star Derby and Ohio Derby runner-up Moyer’s Pond complete the field.
Moyer’s Pond will be ridden by Mark Guidry, the pilot of the last two West Virginia Derby winners (Bright One and Real Dandy). The 47-year-old Guidry, who announced his impending retirement earlier in the year, will be aboard Moyer’s Pond for the first time.
Likely favorite Slew’s Tizzy, trained by Gregory Fox and owned by Joseph Lacombe Stable, ran a disappointing seventh in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 9, but before that captured the Lone Star Derby and Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) in impressive fashion. The son of Tiznow has won three of eight career starts but has not finished in the money in any of his five defeats. Robby Albarado will be aboard.
Delightful Kiss came from well off the pace in each of his last two wins, including the Ohio Derby, in which he was 25-1. Most recently, the son of Kissin Kris came from behind to win the $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows.
Trained by Pete D. Anderson and owned by Hobeau Farm, Delightful Kiss will again be ridden by Jeffrey Sanchez. The Florida-bred has finished in the money in eight of 13 starts.
Zanjero, trained by Steve Asmussen, will likely receive a lot of support as well. Most recently, the son of Cherokee Run finished a nose behind Chelokee in the Northern Dancer Breeders’ Cup (gr. III) at Churchill Downs June 16. He has been in the money in eight of 10 starts during his career but has never won a stakes.
Nine stakes are on the West Virginia Derby program, with purses totaling $1.55 million. Post time is at 2 p.m.