Wiseman's Ferry and The Judge Sez Who, the second- and third-place finishers in the grade II Ohio Derby at Thistledown in July, are among a field of nine 3-year-olds entered for the $600,000 West Virginia Derby, a grade III event to be held Aug. 10 at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort.
Fink, Sacks, and Swifty Farm's Wiseman's Ferry, second by a neck to Magic Weisner in the grade II Ohio Derby at Thistledown July 20, is among the nominees for the $600,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort on Aug. 10.
Scrappy Magic Weisner, who finished a fast-charging second to War Emblem in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), leads a compact field of five in Saturday's $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) at Thistledown.
With a persistent light rain falling Friday morning, trainer Niall O'Callaghan found a dry, warm spot to talk to the press -- inside the track kitchen. But the same question kept coming up: Is his Wiseman's Ferry the key to the Belmont Stakes (gr. I)?
Does War Emblem fit the profile of a typical Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner?
Trainer Niall O'Callaghan said he was "leaning toward running" in the Belmont Stakes following Wiseman's Ferry's five-furlong work in 1:01 1/5 at Churchill Downs Friday.
Pat Day will ride Columbine Stable's Like A Hero in the June 8 Belmont Stakes.
If the Preakness took anything out of War Emblem, he didn't show any signs of it Thursday morning, as he took to the track for his first gallop since winning the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Wiseman's Ferry set a fast pace, then safely held off the late charge of California Derby winner Tracemark to win the $500,000 Lone Star Derby (gr. III) by 2 3/4 lengths on Saturday at Lone Star Park.
Michael Tabor's Johannesburg remained undefeated by beating Miss Beabea by five lengths to win the Independent Waterford Wedgwood Phoenix Stakes (Ire-I) on Sunday at Leopardstown. Also on Sunday, American-bred Bahamian Pirate held off fellow American-bred One Won One to win the Phoenix Sprint Stakes (Ire-III) by a short head.
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