08/02/2006 11:00PM

West Virginia Derby overflow field of 13


Wanna Runner and Bright One are among the 13 3-year-olds entered for the $750,000 West Virginia Derby, the Grade 3 fixture that highlights a rich all-stakes card Sunday at Mountaineer Racetrack.

Wanna Runner, a Bob Baffert-trained gelding who won the WinStar and Lone Star derbies before being soundly beaten as the favorite in his last start, the June 25 Queen's Plate, drew post 7 in the 1 1/8-mile West Virginia Derby, which will be limited to 12 starters.

Bright One, a late-blooming colt who came to prominence by earning triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures in winning his last two starts at Churchill Downs by a combined 16 3/4 lengths, drew the rail.

Mike Smith has the call on Wanna Runner, while Mark Guidry, who won this race last year aboard Real Dandy, will ride Bright One.

Other notable entries include Flashy Bull (post 2), who is cross-entered in the Haskell Invitational the same afternoon at Monmouth Park; Circle the World (post 3), the lone entry for trainer Todd Pletcher; Ah Day (post 5), whose five victories include the Federico Tesio at Pimlico; High Finance (post 9),

making his first start since finishing 10th in the June 10 Belmont Stakes; and More Than Regal (post 12), winner of the Iowa Derby.

Flashy Bull and High Finance, both owned by the West Point Thoroughbreds syndicate, are coupled for wagering purposes.

The other entries are Regent Spirit, Cielo Gold, High Blues, Crocodile Tears, Luxembourg, and the lone also-eligible, Like an Eagle.

The Mountaineer morning line has Wanna Runner as the 3-1 favorite, followed by Bright One (4-1), the West Point entry (6-1), and Circle the World (6-1).

The West Virginia Derby will be shown live as part of a one-hour Haskell broadcast on ESPN at 5 p.m. Eastern. It goes as the eighth of nine races, with post time set for 5:27.

Also on Sunday's card:

* Real Dandy, with Guidry riding again, returns as part of a deep field of eight older horses in the $125,000 West Virginia Governor's Cup. Cherokee's Boy, the millionaire 6-year-old based in Maryland with trainer Gary Capuano, figures as the favorite in the 1 1/16-mile race over Don't Get Mad, who makes just his second start at 4 after winning three stakes last year.

* Gaff will try to rebound off a last-place finish in the recent Smile Sprint Handicap when he faces six other older horses in the $125,000 Harvey Arneault BC Handicap at six furlongs. Shaun Bridgmohan will be aboard Gaff in a race that also includes such seasoned sprinters as Wild Tale, P. Kerney, and Yucatan.

* Radiant Avie and Rue des Reves, the respective one-two finishers in the Lady Canterbury on the July 15 Claiming Crown program, loom a formidable entry for trainer Richie Scherer in in the $125,000 West Virginia Senate President's BC, a one-mile turf race for fillies and mares. Top challengers appear to be the French import Stella Blue and the speedy local mare Lady Grace.

* Five $85,000 stakes also are carded: the Mountaineer Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies, the West Virginia Legislature Chairman's Cup, the West Virginia Secretary of State, and the West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker's Cup.