Updated on 09/17/2011 10:05PM

Real Dandy breaks through in WV Derby

Chuck Saus
Real Dandy ($16.20) wins the Grade 3, $750,000 West Virginia Derby by a length and a quarter over Magna Graduate at Mountaineer Park on Sunday.

Real Dandy had paid his dues. He had picked up checks in all six of the stakes he had started in since March, while lining up against a series of noted 3-year-olds like Afleet Alex, Flower Alley, Don't Get Mad, Scipion and High Limit. And on Sunday at Mountaineer Race Track, it was finally all about Real Dandy. Closing from last-to-first, he won the Grade 3, $750,000 by a length and a quarter over Magna Graduate. It was the first career stakes win for Real Dandy, and it came before a crowd of 19,020 on the richest day of racing in the history of West Virginia.

Real Dandy was sent to post at 7-1 with Devilment, the horse he had finished second to one start earlier in the $100,000 Round Table at Arlington, the 3-1 favorite in the West Virginia Derby. Real Dandy broke a step slow at the start of the mile and an eighth race, and trailed the field led by Ablo, Bernie Blue and Devilment, who raced through the opening quarter in 23.34 seconds.

Ablo continued to lead the field through a half-mile in 47.10 seconds, and Real Dandy continued to trail. But approaching the final turn, the eventual winner advanced, then circled his rivals six wide to move into fourth place entering the stretch. From there, Real Dandy drove past the leaders at a steady pace, and went on to cover the distance over a track rated fast in 1:50.29.

Mark Guidry rode Real Dandy for trainer Steve Asmussen in one of three stakes wins the rider had on the $1.5 million card Sunday.

Magna Graduate, who had the lead in the stretch, finished two and a quarter lengths in front of Anthony J., who rallied from 10th. Shamoan was fourth, followed by Dover Dere, the second choice in the wagering who after sitting just off the pace took the lead for a brief while approaching the quarter pole. The remaining order of finish was Diamond Isle, Pinpoint, Golden Man, Devilment, Bernie Blue and Ablo. Southern Africa was scratched from the race after spiking a temperature on Saturday.

Real Dandy earned $450,000 for the win, which improved his career record to three wins from 15 starts for earnings of $695,375. He is a son of Yankee Victor and races for Bob and Cathy Zollars. Among the stakes Real Dandy had competed in earlier this yer were the Grade 2 Arkansas Derby, in which he finished fourth behind winner Afleet Alex and runner-up Flower Alley; the Grade 3 Northern Dancer Breeders' Cup, in which he finished third to Don't Get Mad; and the Grade 3 Lone Star Derby, in which he finished third to Southern Africa.

The West Virginia Derby was the richest race ever run in the state, and it anchored a card of nine stakes. Handle on the program was $3,447,914, and for the first time Mountaineer sent its full card into California.

Attendance on the day was 19,020, the largest on a West Virginia Derby Day.

In other stakes results, Guidry's three-bagger started in the sixth with Wild Tale ($39.20), who swept past Sterling Gold and 6-5 favorite Areyoutalkintome in the stretch to win the $125,000 Harvey Arneault Memorial Breeders' Cup. Guidry rode the winner, who covered six furlongs in 1:09.96, for trainer Michael Dini.

One race later, Guidry was back in the winner's circle with M B Sea ($7), who rallied from last to first to prove much the best in the $125,000 West Virginia Governor's Stakes. M B Sea was a seven-length winner over Artemus Sunrise. There were six scratches from the mile and a sixteenth race, including Lord of the Game. Guidry, who one start later won the West Virginia Derby, was aboard M B Sea for trainer Dale Romans.

* Outcashem ($8.40) picked up his sixth straight win when he proved three lengths best in the $85,000 West Virginia Legislature Chairman's Cup at four and a half furlongs. Travis Dunkelberger rode the winner for trainer Scott Lake.

* Dunkelberger was back in the winner's circle a few races later aboard Crafty Tricker ($18.20), who was a two and three-quarter length winner of the $85,000 Mountaineer Juvenile. Crafty Tricker is trained by Tim Salzman.

* Lady Grace ($7.40) won her fifth straight race when she wired the field in the $125,000 West Virginia Senate President's Breeders' Cup. Rex Stokes rode the winner for trainer Loren Cox.

* Cobra Lady ($7.40) stormed home to a five and a quarter length win over 2-5 favorite Injustice in the $85,000 West Virginia Secretary of State. Bobby Walker Jr. rode the winner for trainer J. Michael Baird.

* Lizzy's Township ($2.60) was a neck winner over More than Pretty in the $85,000 Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies. Craig Perret rode the winner for trainer James Divito.

* In the biggest upset of the card, Immediate Reaction ($74.20) wired the field in the $85,000 West Virginia House of Delegates. Joe Stokes rode the winner for trainer Michael Pappada.