08/16/2005 11:00PM

Mountaineer sets handle record


The $3.4 million handle at Mountaineer Race Track on its West Virginia Derby Day card on Sunday is an all-time record for the track, according to Rose Mary Williams, director of racing at Mountaineer.

The nine-race card was made up of nothing but stakes, and for the first time Mountaineer sent its full card to simulcast sites in California. Last year, handle on the West Virginia Derby Day card was $2,582,601.

Real Dandy won this year's Grade 3, $750,000 West Virginia Derby, the richest race ever run in the state. Steve Asmussen trains the colt and said he is being pointed for the Grade 2, $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby.

Mountaineer handled more than $1 million on the West Virginia Derby alone this year, up from $500,000 a year ago. In all, $3,148,292 was bet on Mountaineer's races offtrack on Sunday, and another $299,622 was bet ontrack. Estimated attendance was 19,020, a record for West Virginia Derby Day. On the same card a year ago, attendance was 16,256.

Also on West Virginia Derby Day, area youngsters operated an Alex's Lemonade Stand in the grandstand and raised $1,109 for the juvenile cancer cause that has gained widespread support in racing. A portion of Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Afleet Alex's earnings have gone toward the Alex's Lemonade Stand fundraiser, which was started by Alex Scott, who died of cancer at age 8 in 2004.

* Silver Montage looks like the one to beat in the featured ninth race Friday night, a conditioned allowance for 3-year-old fillies. She is trained by William Connelly.