07/07/2013 2:53PM

Belmont Park: Moreno likely to go in West Virginia Derby

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Barbara D. Livingston
Moreno earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure for his win in the Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes on Saturday.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Moreno, who won Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Dwyer Stakes by seven lengths at Belmont Park, could make his next start in the Grade 2, $750,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park on Aug. 3, trainer Eric Guillot said Sunday.

Guillot said he favored the West Virginia Derby over races like the $600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 27 or the $1 million Haskell at Monmouth Park on July 28 because it would give his gelding an extra week, and the competition figures to be a little easier.

“I’d say the Jim Dandy’s a little too close,” Guillot said Sunday from Saratoga. “I’m thinking West Virginia Derby, skip the heavy heads, and then see what the Travers looks like.”

The $1 million Travers is run at Saratoga on Aug. 24.

Guillot also mentioned the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx on Sept. 21 as a possible fall objective.

After losing his first nine starts, Moreno has won his last two, both in front-running fashion in one-turn races at Belmont. Guillot said Moreno’s pedigree – he is by Ghostzapper out of the A.P. Indy mare Danceinthesunlight – suggests he’ll want to run “all day.”

Moreno always had talent, Guillot said, which prompted him to have owner Mike Moreno of Southern Equine name the horse after himself, changing the horse’s original name.

“This horse has got tons of talent,” Guillot said. “It just took him a while to figure it out.”

Moreno has two wins and two seconds from four dirt starts – five races overall – since being gelded in early March. Moreno, who was scheduled to ship to Saratoga on Monday or Tuesday, earned a career-best 100 Beyer Speed Figure for his Dwyer victory.