08/02/2014 4:34PM

Carve connects in West Virginia Governor's

Coady Photography
Carve, ridden by Jesus Castanon, brings home second choice Carve in the West Virginia Governor's.

Carve gamely held off 15-1 shot Adirondack King to post a neck victory Saturday in the $200,000 West Virginia Governor’s at Mountaineer Racetrack.

Ridden by Jesus Castanon, Carve returned $4.80 as second choice after finishing the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:44.44 over a fast track. Mylute, the 6-5 favorite, finished third, two lengths behind the runner-up.

The complexion of the Governor’s changed dramatically with three early scratches, most notably that of Moonshine Mullin, the 8-5 morning-line favorite. Also withdrawn were Falling Sky and Outbacker, leaving just six older horses.

Carve, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by First Samurai, now has won three straight races and 6 of 15 overall, having captured the Grade 3 Cornhusker at Prairie Meadows in his prior start. He is owned by Mike Langford and based at Churchill Downs with trainer Brad Cox.

Adirondack King, ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, set a reasonable pace, with Carve always poised to his outside. Down the stretch, Carve surged to a slight advantage, one he maintained to the bitter end under persistent urging from Castanon.

The $2 exacta (8-3) paid $43.40, the $1 trifecta (8-3-2) returned $47.20, and the 50-cent superfecta (8-3-2-9) was worth $100.75.