08/12/2002 12:00AM

Wiseman's Ferry just lasts in W. Va. Derby


Wiseman's Ferry reached the wire just in time to hold off fast-closing The Judge Sez Who by a neck in the $600,000 at Mountaineer Park.

Ridden by Jorge Chavez, Wiseman's Ferry ($5.20) was unchallenged on the lead throughout most of the 1 1/8-mile, Grade 3 race for 3-year-olds until The Judge Sez Who and Jerry Bailey came flying in the stretch.

The Judge Sez Who encountered traffic trouble, said Bailey, who was forced to wait too long until his horse could steer clear of Captain Squire.

"I knew The Judge Sez Who was coming up on me on the outside lane," Chavez said. "I was glad to see the finish line coming. But that's always the case when you're in front."

Wiseman's Ferry will now be pointed to the Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia Park, according to trainer Niall O'Callaghan.

The crowd of 18,284 combined with simuclast bettors to wager a record $2,230,312 on the nine-race card, which carried a track record $1,222,850 in purses.

There were six stakes on the undercard, each worth $85,000. Delaware Park-based jockey Jeremy Rose won two stakes on the day, taking the West Virginia Secretary of State Handicap with Urban Dancer ($8.80) and the West Virginia Governor's Handicap with Docent ($15.80).