07/30/2007 11:00PM

'B' team takes shot at big bucks


The leaders in the 3-year-old division are gradually returning to the races after a mid-summer hiatus, and on Saturday 10 second-tier 3-year-olds will try to move up in the standings in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Race Track.

The field includes Delightful Kiss, the Ohio Derby winner and likely favorite, and four horses who ran in this year's Kentucky Derby - Sam P. (ninth), Dominican (11th), Zanjero (12th), and Bwana Bull (15th).

The West Virginia Derby offers a fat purse to horses that aren't yet ready to bump heads against the horses that have run in the Jim Dandy - won by Street Sense on Sunday at Saratoga - or will run in this Sunday's Haskell Invitational Stakes at Monmouth Park, a race that will feature the return of Preakness winner Curlin and the Derby runner-up Hard Spun.

Entries for the West Virginia Derby closed on Tuesday, though post positions were not to be drawn until Wednesday morning. The race will be televised live on ESPN on a program that runs from 5-6 p.m. Eastern.

Delightful Kiss, a son of Kissin Kris, is riding a two-race win streak into the race. Trained by Pete Anderson, Delightful Kiss was a longshot winner of the Grade 2 Ohio Derby on June 2 at Thistledown, and followed that victory with a late-running score in the $250,000 Iowa Derby. Jeffrey Sanchez, who was aboard for both those victories, will ride again.

After running in the Derby, Sam P. finished third in the Grade 3 Northern Dancer Stakes on June 16 at Churchill Downs. Zanjero ran second in that race.

Bwana Bull will make his first start since the Derby on Saturday, carrying new rider Dana Whitney. Dominican, who won an unusually run Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes, will make his second start off a layoff. New rider Eddie Castro will be aboard.

Rounding out the field are Dr. Googles Boogles, Moyer's Pond, Norjac, Slew's Tizzy, and Song of Navarone.