08/06/2004 11:00PM

Eavesdropper gets first stakes win


HANCOCK COUNTY, W.Va. - Eavesdropper always had an attractive catalog page, being a half-brother to A.P. Indy and Summer Squall. Now he has an accomplished race record to go with it. He won his first stakes on Saturday in the $85,000 Harvey Arneault Memorial Handicap on West Virginia Derby Day at Mountaineer Park.

Well ridden by Heberto Castillo, Eavesdropper stalked the pace in fourth, as Crossing Point and Calends set quick fractions of 21.91 and 44.74 seconds while contesting the pace.

Leaving the turn, he began to rapidly gain on the leaders, along with eventual runner-up Frankie R's Winner. He proved narrowly best in the stretch, scoring by a neck. Crossing Point finished third, three lengths back.

Eavesdropper, a son of Kingmambo out of Weekend Surprise, won the third race of his 12-race career for owners Dean De Renzo and Randall Hartley. He raced six furlongs in 1:09.57 and paid $11.40.

"He's living up to his potential," said Art Magnuson, assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "We always thought he had it in him."

Governor's Handicap: Wiggins wins big

A race later in the $100,000 West Virginia Governor's Handicap, Wiggins dominated the opposition, winning by four lengths over Ask the Lord with Cherokee's Boy another two lengths back in third. The victory marked the second stakes-winning mount on the West Virgina Derby undercard for Rafael Bejarano, the leading jockey in the country in wins.

Confidently ridden, Wiggins relaxed a few lengths off the pace in the early going, as Prince Benjamin and Bada Bam Bada Boom set a pressured pace. On the final turn he began to effortlessly catch the leaders, and from the turn to the wire, the outcome was never in doubt.

Wiggins ($5.60), a Chicago invader trained by Tony Granitz, ran 1 1/16 miles on the main track in 1:43.37. The $60,000 winner's share boosted his earnings to $449,155 for owners William Pacella, Joseph Rizza, and Ronald Schwed.

Senate President's Cup: 'Lady' by a nose

Lady of the Future ($8) closed with a rush to catch favored Chance Dance in the final stride of the $85,000 West Virginia Senate President's Cup under jockey Harry Vega.

Her nose victory was the second such photo victory in stakes races this year. She earned $51,000 for owner Max Person and trainer Thomas Greene, boosting her earnings to more than $491,000. Passionate Bird ran third, three-quarters of a length behind the winner.

Delegates Speaker's Cup: Gin and Sin scores

Bejarano's first stakes win of the day came in the $85,000 West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker's Cup aboard Gin and Sin ($10.20).

Gin and Sin and Bejarano stalked the pace in third behind Banned in Boston and Monetary Star. The winner then took command leaving the final turn and maintained a comfortable advantage through the stretch, ultimately winning by a length. Spruce Run rallied to finish a clear second, 2 1/2 lengths in front of Glitter Mean.

Gin and Sin ran a mile on a firm turf course in 1:34.97. A 4-year-old Go for Gin gelding, he won his second stakes in 19 starts for owner Silverton Hill Farm and trainer Darrin Miller.

Legislature Chairman's Cup: Record for 'Ameri'

Ameri Brilliance broke the track record for 4 1/2 furlongs in winning the third race, the $85,000 West Virginia Legislature Chairman's Cup, by covering the distance in 50.16 seconds. His time lowered the previous record of 50.28, set by Baby Shark in winning this race last year.

Ameri Brilliance, a 5-year-old Ameri Valay gelding trained by Ben Feliciano and owned by Elaine Bassford, outfinished favored Danieltown by 1 1/2 lengths. Eibar Coa was aboard Ameri Brilliance ($10.20), one of two stakes winners he rode leading up to the West Virginia Derby.

Secretary of State: Put Me In puts 'em away

Kentucky invader Put Me In ($3.40) outclassed her rivals in the first of the seven stakes on Saturday's card, winning the $85,000 West Virginia Secretary of State Stakes by 4 3/4 lengths over Claiming Crown Glass Slipper winner Banished Lover. Our Josephina, another Kentucky shipper, finished 1 1/4 lengths farther back in third.

A 4-year-old daughter of Take Me Out trained by Merrill Scherer and owned by Robert Heleringer, Put Me In ran six furlongs in 1:09.62 under Coa.