07/25/2012 4:00PM

Mountaineer: Mike Smith to ride Hansen in West Virginia Derby


Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will ride Hansen in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park on Aug. 4, according to his agent, Brad Pegram. Smith has never ridden Hansen, the champion 2-year-old male of 2011.

Hansen has won 5 of 8 starts and $1,773,305. Trained by Mike Maker for a partnership led by breeder Kendall Hansen, the colt has won four stakes. He won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last fall to clinch his championship.

Earlier this year, Hansen was ninth in the Kentucky Derby and won the Grade 3 Iowa Derby by 10 lengths at Prairie Meadows on June 30.

Hansen is the leading contender for the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby, which is run over 1 1/8 miles.

Pegram said that Smith will ride at Del Mar on Aug. 3 and 5 surrounding the journey to West Virginia.