08/02/2011 2:35PM

Mountaineer: Dreamy Kid top player in West Virginia Derby field of 10

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Dreamy Kid, foreground, gets up to defeat Coil by a head in the Swaps Stakes.

Connecting the dots seems easy enough. Dreamy Kid defeated Coil in the Swaps Stakes, and after Coil came back to win the Haskell Invitational in such impressive fashion last weekend at Monmouth Park, it’s only logical that Dreamy Kid should be among the horses to beat Saturday in the 42nd running of the Grade  2, $750,000 West Virginia Derby at the Mountaineer Racetrack and Casino.

WEST VIRGINIA DERBY DAY: Video Analysis, news, PPs and LIVE streaming video of the entire card.

Joe Talamo, who will make his Mountaineer debut when traveling from Del Mar to ride Dreamy Kid for Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale, wouldn’t disagree.

“I watched the Haskell, and it was really impressive the way Coil won, overcoming all the trouble he did,” said Talamo, who rode Dreamy Kid for the first time in the July 9 Swaps and was back aboard for a sharp five-furlong Saturday at Del Mar. “My horse has done really well since the Swaps, and obviously the way Coil won was encouraging for us. My horse galloped out so strong in his work the other day. I’m really excited about getting the chance to ride him back.”

Dreamy Kid, bred and owned by Robert S. Evans, is one of 10 3-year-olds entered in the 1 1/8-mile West Virginia Derby, the annual highlight at Mountaineer in Chester, W.Va. The top challenger could be another California shipper, Prayer for Relief, winner of the June 25 Iowa Derby in his last start for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.

Baffert, who trains Coil, won the West Virginia Derby last year with the favorite, Concord Point.

Other top contenders include Awesome Bet, winner of the Barbaro Stakes last out at Delaware Park for Steve Asmussen; Little Drama, a stakes-savvy performer with the same connections as the 2009 runner-up, Big Drama; Infrattini, a hard-charging runner-up in the Matt Winn at Churchill Downs last out; and Rush Now, a romping winner of the Spend a Buck at Monmouth in May for Tony Dutrow.

From the rail and with jockeys, this is the entire field:

Prayer for Relief, Rafael Bejarano; Infrattini, Calvin Borel; Little Drama, Kendrick Carmouche; Awesome Bet, Alan Garcia; Rush Now, Cornelio Velasquez; Sherriff Cogburn, Perry Compton; Skipping the Score, Victor Lebron; Dreamy Kid, Talamo; Loranger Native, Jimmy Graham; and Fred High, DeShawn Parker.

First post for an all-stakes, nine-race Saturday program is 2 p.m. Eastern, with the West Virginia Derby (race 8) set for 5:35. The top secondary feature is the $125,000 West Virginia Governor’s Stakes, with Borel riding the defending champion, Demarcation. The other seven stakes are each worth $85,000.

WEST VIRGINIA DERBY DAY: Video Analysis, news, PPs and LIVE streaming video of the entire card.