The $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) will return to television this year as part of an $800,000 promotional package approved April 13 by the West Virginia Racing Commission.
The Aug. 4 race for 3-year-olds at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort will be broadcast live on FOX Sports Network, Mountaineer director of racing Rose Mary Williams said. The telecast will run from 5-6 p.m. EDT.
The Derby wasn’t televised last year but had been in previous years. Management that took over at Mountaineer in 2011, however, decided to revisit television coverage of the event, one of two graded stakes in the state along with the Charles Town Classic (gr. II) at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
Most of the other Derby-related promotions from last year—online contests, prize giveaways, and a weekend concert—will return this year. The promos will begin in July, Williams said.
The money comes from a video lottery terminal promotional fund overseen by the WVRC. The purse and bonuses for the West Virginia Derby also come from the VLT fund.