Undefeated Soto, who returned from a 7 1/2-month layoff to beat allowance foes in his sophomore debut July 19 at Philadelphia Park, has been installed as the slight 3-1 favorite in a competitive field of 3-year-olds set for the $600,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) at Mountaineer Park.
Soto won all three starts as a juvenile, including the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs, but had not been seen in the afternoons until his victory at Philadelphia Park three weeks ago. Soto completed six furlongs in his comeback race for trainer Michael Dickinson in a sharp 1:08.80 to win by 3 3/4 lengths.
Dynever will be making his first start since finishing fourth in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 7. The son of Dynaformer won the Aventura Stakes and the Lone Star Derby (gr. III) prior to the Belmont.
Other graded stakes winners entered in the 1 1/8-miles contest are Outta Here, Lone Star Sky, and Mobil. Mountaineer Park officials announced late Thursday that Bob Baffert-trained During was being scratched out of the race.
The field in post position order:
1. Dynever, Edgar Prado, 117, 7-2
2. Outta Here, Kent Desormeaux, 115, 6-1
3. Cat Singer, Hector Rosario Jr., 113, 20-1
4. (SCRATCHED)During, Dana Whitney, 119, 5-1
5. Soto, Ramon Dominguez, 111, 3-1
6. Mobil, Jorge Chavez, 117, 6-1
7. Lone Star Sky, John McKee, 111, 12-1
8. Miss Karry Thenews, Kevin Krigger, 106, 50-1
9. Coax Kid, Jason Lumpkins, 111, 30-1
10. Colita, Jose Santos, 111, 10-1
11. Dr. E. Claire, Solomon Salguero, 111, 50-1
12. Supah Blitz, Cornelio Velasquez, 113, 8-1