Repole Stable’s Overanalyze will seek to bounce back after a couple of uncharacteristic efforts when he faces eight other 3-year-olds in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort Aug. 3.
The 1 1/8-mile West Virginia Derby is one of nine stakes on an all-stakes program that begins at the special post time of 2 p.m. EDT.
Overanalyze, a Dixie Union colt, is the most accomplished entrant with a grade I victory in the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) earlier this year. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Overanalyze also won the Remsen Stakes and the Belmont Futurity (both gr. II) in 2012.
Overanalyze finished an even 11th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) after his Arkansas Derby win. He followed up with another even effort that produced a seventh-place finish in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Pletcher shipped the colt to Saratoga Race Course, where he has worked steadily since early July. In his most recent breeze Overanalyze went :50 1/5 for a half-mile on a fast track July 28.
Pletcher, who has a deep bench, has a chance to sweep a cluster of graded stakes for 3-year-olds; the weekend of July 27-28 he won the Jim Dandy (gr. II) with Palace Malice and the William Hill Haskell (gr. I) with Verrazano .
Rosie Napravnik is named to ride Overanalyze for the first time. The colt will break from post 9 and carry top weight of 124 pounds. He will wear blinkers for the first time.
Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s Departing, winner of four of six races thus far including the Illinois Derby (gr. III), will make his first start since May 18, when he finished sixth in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) for trainer Al Stall Jr. The homebred War Front gelding most recently worked a half-mile in :49 3/5 on a fast track at Saratoga July 29.
Stall said the connections gave Departing a brief break in part because he’s a gelding that they hope to race for several years. Departing finished a good third in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) earlier this year.
Robby Albarado has the call aboard Departing, who will carry 120 pounds from post 5.
The intriguing Say Ow, a California-based runner, was the first on the grounds for the West Virginia Derby when he arrived in mid-July. Owned by the Premae Company and trained by Julio Canani on the West Coast, Say Ow has been under the care of trainer Charles Kieser since his arrival at Mountaineer.
The Langfuhr gelding was slow to begin but has won his past two starts in maiden special weight and entry-level allowance company on the synthetic surface at Betfair Hollywood Park. He has shown dramatic improvement going two turns in California.
Say Ow most recently worked five furlongs in :59 2/5, very fast for Mountaineer, July 29.
“I didn’t realize he was going so fast,” Kieser said. “I was really surprised–happily so–when the clocker told me.”
California-based Saul Arias will ride Say Ow at 116 pounds from post 3.
The Derby is the eighth race on the card with a probable post time of 5:45 p.m. It will be broadcast live during a 5-6 p.m. program on Fox Sports Network affiliates around the country.