07/30/2013 3:19PM

West Virginia Derby: Departing, Overanalyze head nine-horse field at Mountaineer

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Departing was assigned post 5 and Overanalyze got the outside post as the top contenders in a field of nine 3-year-olds in the Grade 2, $750,000 West Virginia Derby, the annual showcase event at Mountaineer Racetrack.

The 1 1/8-mile West Virginia Derby, to be run Saturday, also got Say Ow (post 3), in off back-to-back wins at Betfair Hollywood Park, and an improving Steve Asmussen colt, Betweenhereandcool (post 4).

Departing, who had his final workout Monday at Saratoga, will be ridden by Robby Albarado. Depart will be making his first start since finishing sixth in the May 18 Preakness. His regular rider, Brian Hernandez Jr., is otherwise occupied Saturday with Fort Larned in the Whitney at Saratoga.

Overanalyze, most recently seventh in the June 8 Belmont Stakes for owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher, will be ridden by Rosie Napravnik and equipped with blinkers for the first time.

From the rail, this is the field for the 44th West Virginia Derby: Shaler, DeShawn Parker; Ruler of Love, Calvin Borel; Say Ow, Saul Arias; Betweenhereandcool, Ricardo Santana Jr.; Departing, Albarado; Mi Sto Divertendo, Marco Ccmaque; Ledokol, no rider; Stratocruiser, Alex Cintron; and Overanalyze, Napravnik.

Mountaineer normally runs evenings except for its biggest program, when first post is 2 p.m. Eastern. The feature goes as the eighth of nine races, all of them unrestricted stakes, with post time set for 5:45. Purses for the entire day will total $1.65 million.

The West Virginia Derby will be televised live on several Fox Sports Network affiliates, with Chris Lincoln hosting the one-hour show.

Departing was an impressive winner of the Grade 3 Illinois Derby two starts back, while Overanalyze can claim victories in the Grade  2 Remsen and Grade 1 Arkansas Derby.

Betweenhereandcool, by the recently deceased Unbridled’s Song, most recently was second by a neck to Looking Cool in the Grade 3 Iowa Derby. Asmussen has won the West Virginia Derby four times, including the 2012 running with Macho Macho.

Say Ow, by Langfuhr, has been based in California with Julio Canani but since has been transferred by his owner, the Premae Company LLC, to Chuck Kieser, a 59-year-old former jockey who oversees a small stable at Mountaineer.

One of the longshots in the field, Stratocruiser, is a homebred Langfuhr colt owned by the Dream Walkin Farms of country music superstar Toby Keith. He will be shipping in from Delaware Park for Kenny Smith.

The undercard races are comprised of seven $100,000 stakes and the $200,000 West Virginia Governor’s Stakes (race 7), a 1 1/16-mile race that drew eight older horses, including the uncoupled Pletcher duo of Percussion and Mordi’s Miracle. Napravnik is named on both.

Wendy Parrish More than 1 year ago
Waste of purse money? a joke? are you kidding? this is a great betting race
Hendrix More than 1 year ago
What a joke! For that kind of purse money & all they managed to get was two graded stakes winners who are mediocre at best! They're better off donating the money to charity or giving it to the grooms & exercise riders! Too bad bookkeeper Anita Ambler didn't get a hold of that money. Pathetic! I hope the longest shot on the board wins!
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
I had a chance to look at the past performances last night and I would be extremely surprised if Departing lost this race. The trifecta and superfecta seem to be no more difficult than keying Departing over Say Ow, Betweenhereandcool, and Overanalyze.
mikey More than 1 year ago
The whole field is not worth 750k.A bunch of half broken down also rans.
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
Who cares if Mountaineer wants to put up a 750k purse? It's their money. The idea was to attract some prime talent away from the Haskell or Jim Dandy and it just didn't happen. Personally, I blame this year's crop of 3yos that have already gone to war and have pretty much been left in ruins from the preps to the Triple Crown and the Triple Crown itself. We are only really left with Palace Malice and Verrazano; it would not surprise me if the Travers winds up a match race between these two.
Electrocutionst More than 1 year ago
What an Iron horse Palace Malice is, just like his sire, Curlin.
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
Agreed. I was bummed out that I could not get a wager on him in the Belmont due to extenuating circumstances. Hopefully...just like his Daddy...that Palace Malices goes on to being the most dangerous horse on the planet as a 4yo. Very much looking forward to the Travers...
Lawrence More than 1 year ago
Don't forget about Orb.
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
If Orb was going to take a shot at the Travers, then he should have at least looked at the Jim Dandy, Haskell, or the West Virginia Derby. The fact that he didn't at least show up in this field speaks volumes about his current physical state.
Perl More than 1 year ago
The leftovers from this years crop are much better than last year, when by now we had already lost Union Rags, Illhaveanother, Bodemeister, and Paynter. The problem is, as others have pointed out, there still aren't enough good three year olds to go around and this race is positioned poorly, only a week after the Dandy/Haskell. There's no way it will ever draw a good field at this time of year. So I'm not sure what MNR's options are but they should find a better use for the $750k.
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
Total agreement in regard to last year's crop of 3yos... But it hasn't gone without notice that just about every year following the Triple Crown that the number of 3yos capable of putting together a good race have been in short supply. Drugs and too much inbreeding have taken its toll on racing. This is the result.
Brandon Layer More than 1 year ago
Bad idea to waste $750k competing with the Haskell and Jim Dandy as evidenced by this field
Lawrence Vaccarelli More than 1 year ago
good point....the money would be better spent on regular routine races
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Say Ow has looked good here in Cali for Julio, but this may be a reach. At least on the win end.
cojinoa20 More than 1 year ago
If Robbie promise me that he will relax Departing while keep him close to the pace, I'll bet my pants on him. Asmussen horse could be trouble in this race also.
mrm More than 1 year ago
Waste of purse money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Of course it is a waste of purse money, especially since you do not know how to handicap and you are such a negative idiot!
Brandon Layer More than 1 year ago
It IS a total waste of purse money. And how do you know what kind of handicapper mrm is? What an ignorant post.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You are a true idiot!
mrm More than 1 year ago
It has nothing to do with handicapping and everything to do with the daily purse structure. You are too stupid to know the difference.
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
Anonymous means another mouse
Lawrence Vaccarelli More than 1 year ago
yeah it is ...the local horsemen should be pissed.
bruce More than 1 year ago
The money that comes in from betting for this day basically pays for your entire purse structure for the year. A lot of tracks do this, you obviously are a horsemen, don't complain this actually helps you out
mrm More than 1 year ago
I find that hard to believe. Are there any figures to prove this? If the purse was 300m it would probably draw the same horses.
Hendrix More than 1 year ago
That Anonymous is a big JERK!
Jim Syoen More than 1 year ago
What do Mark Patterson and "Nance" think about the race?