West Virginia Derby (gr. II)

(gr. II , 9f ,)

SOUL WARRIOR (CH h, 111 lb) $457,500
Lion Heart —Urmia , by Meadowlake
B—David Hanley, KY.; O—Zayat Stables, LLC; T—Steven M. Asmussen

Big Drama (DK B/ h, 115 lb) $150,000
Montbrook —Riveting Drama , by Notebook
B—Harold L. Queen, FL.; O—Harold L. Queen; T—David Fawkes

Mine That Bird (B g, 122 lb) $75,000
Birdstone —Mining My Own , by Smart Strike
B—Needham/Betz Thoroughbreds, KY.; O—Double Eagle Ranch Inc. and Buena Suerte Equine; T—Bennie L. Woolley, Jr.

Margins: neck, 1½, 4½. Others: Awesome Rhythm 116($37,500) , Sunday Sunrise 117($18,750) , Monty's Best 114($11,250) . Winning Jockey, Dale V. Beckner.

Soul Warrior overtook odds-on favorite Big Drama in the final furlong of the Aug. 1 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort to win by a neck, and he also beat Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird in the process. Mine That Bird, who finished third, was going for his first triumph since the Run for the Roses.

By Lion Heart, Soul Warrior was bred in Kentucky by Bob Austin and David Hanley in partnership with Ben P. Walden Jr. and Brad KelleyÕs Copperhead Stable. Soul Warrior was foaled at WaldenÕs Gracefield near Lexington.

Austin owned Soul WarriorÕs dam, Urmia, before the other three partners came on board. ÒAfter we saw the mareÕs 2-year-old filly My Miss Storm Cat break her maiden, we bought three-quarters of Urmia,Ó said Hanley, the co-breeder of 2002 champion turf female Golden Apples.

My Miss Storm Cat broke her maiden by 10 lengths at Hollywood Park in May 2004 in her first start. That summer she ran third in the Landaluce Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood.

Soul Warrior was sold as a weanling and as a yearling at Keeneland before Ahmed ZayatÕs Zayat Stables bought him for $290,000 at the 2008 Ocala BreedersÕ Sales Co.Õs March sale of 2-year-olds in training from Nick de Meric, agent.

Hanley, who owns Whitechurch Farm near Lexington with his wife, Ann, sold the sale topper at the recent Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale. The sale-topper, a Medaglia dÕOro filly, was consigned by Warrendale Sales, agent, and was purchased for $425,000 by Sheikh MohammedÕs adviser John Ferguson.

Urmia, whose youngest offspring is an unraced 2-year-old filly named Cautionary Tale, suffered an injury in 2008 on the way to being bred and was euthanized.

Lion Heart has sired eight stakes winners, including additional 2009 added-money winners Heart Ashley (gr. III), Heart of a King, and Pumpkin Shell. Lion Heart stands at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky. His 2009 fee was $20,000.ÑD.S