Updated on 08/02/2014 4:19PM

Mico Margarita turns tables on Delaunay in Sen. Byrd Memorial

Coady Photography
Brian Hernandez collects his second stakes win of the card aboard Sweet Cassiopeia.

Mico Margarita was no match for Delaunay when they met two months ago in the Grade 3 Aristides at Churchill Downs. A rider switch to Rosie Napravnik and an opening on the rail during the stretch run helped the 4-year-old Mico Margarita turn the tables on odds-on favorite Delaunay in Saturday’s $100,000 Sen. Robert Byrd Memorial Stakes at Mountaineer Racetrack.

Napravnik steered Mico Margarita to the inside turning for home in the six-furlong sprint and the colt surged past pacesetter Star Harbour to score by 1 1/2 lengths, completing the distance in a swift 1:09.78. Delaunay, favored on the basis of his win in the Aristides and his $1 million bankroll, nosed out 22-1 outsider Mongolian Saturday for third, 1 3/4 lengths behind the runner-up.

Based at Churchill Downs with trainer Steve Asmussen, Mico Margarita is now 5 for 19 with earnings of $390,251 for J. Kirk and Judy Robison. He won the six-furlong Oak Hall at Evangeline Downs in April and the Grade 3 Carry Back going six furlongs at Calder last summer.

Sweet Cassiopeia, returning to Mountaineer Racetrack for the first time since winning this same race two years ago, rallied from seventh to capture the six-furlong, $100,000 West Virginia Secretary of State for fillies and mares on Saturday.

A versatile 6-year-old who has won five races on synthetic surfaces, three on turf, and three on dirt, Sweet Cassiopeia ($9) had not been successful going six furlongs since taking the 2012 running of this stakes by 4 1/4 lengths. Ridden by Brian Hernandez, she emerged from a pack of four horses closely bunched in midstretch to gradually pull away. The winning time was 1:10.87.

Unlike two years ago, when she was much the best, this time the winning margin was 1 1/4 lengths over Rusticana, the second longest shot in the 12-horse field at 80-1. Rusticana finished 2 1/4 lengths clear of the Steve Asmussen-trained Aireofdistinction. Winning Image was used up in an early speed duel and faded to fifth as the 2-1 favorite.

Based at Churchill Downs with trainer William Connelly, Sweet Cassiopeia now has won 11 of 29 starts and $641,079 for Dan Considine and Steve Snowden.

Bet Seattle extends winning streak

Chicago shipper Bet Seattle extended his winning streak to four races by capturing the $100,000 West Virginia Legislature Chairman’s Cup by 2 1/2 lengths.

Third in this same 4 1/2-furlong race a year ago, Bet Seattle ($6.60) put away pacesetter Uncle Todd, the slight choice at 2-1, inside the sixteenth pole and drew clear under regular rider James Graham. A 5-year-old gelding owned and trained by Hugh Robertson, Bet Seattle ran the distance in 51:52 seconds in winning for the ninth time in 25 starts. He is now 5 for 6 this season with a bankroll of $334,183.

The Kentucky-based No Distinction rallied to get second under Calvin Borel, finishing a half-length in front of Uncle Todd.