Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 West Virginia Derby is on tap this Saturday, August 4th from a very busy Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort. Three year olds will be featured as they race 1 1/8 miles on Mountaineer's main dirt track in search of their share of the impressive $750,000 purse.
A strong field of 10 has been entered for the Derby. It is race 8 on Mountaineer's packed Saturday card with a post time of 5:45 PM. Let's take a look at the 10 combatants and their recent performances ahead of this lucrative Grade 2 race.
2012 West Virginia Derby Race Favorites
Hansen - Eclipse Award winner for two-year-old colts Hansen has five wins and two seconds in eight career starts - a disappointing ninth at the Kentucky Derby (by far his worst career start) was avenged seven weeks later with a win in the Grade 3 Iowa Derby last time out. Hansen's other wins include last year's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile and the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct on March 3rd. He instantly gives this race credibility - it wasn't that long ago that he was being mentioned for a possible Triple Crown bid and he did show a lot of character in rebounding from his disappointing Kentucky Derby experience.
Le Bernardin - finished a disappointing 10th in his Stakes debut - the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont on May 12th but followed that result up with an impressive win last time out in the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth on June 17th. Before the Peter Pan was two straight wins - an Allowance race on April 7th and a Maiden Special Weight score on March 10th. His last race has put Le Bernardin squarely on the West Virginia Derby radar.
Macho Macho - Steve Asmussen colt is the co-second choice after placing in five of six career starts - his career debut being the only blemish. Last time out was a second in the minor Long Branch Stakes to follow a third in the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 16th.
West Virginia Derby 2012 | Remaining Field Entries
Hero of Order - has 18 career starts with only two wins - the latest win an impressive score at the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby on April 1st at Fair Grounds. Since that time Hero of Order has struggled to a 13th in the Blue Grass Stakes, a fifth in an Allowance Optional Claiming, an eighth in the Arlington Classic Stakes and most recently a decent second behind Hansen in the Grade 3 Iowa Derby. Hero of Order had looked out of sorts until his most recent result.
Bourbon Courage - after two wins to start his career, Bourbon Courage finished a respectable fourth in his third start in the Grade 3 Derby Trial Stakes and followed that up with a fifth last time out in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont on June 9th. Lightly raced, Bourbon Courage appears overmatched in just his fifth career start.
West Virginia Derby betting at Mountaineer with OffTrackBetting.com
Morgan's Guerrilla - Morgan's Guerillas has raced six times in 2012 with one win at a Maiden Special Weight race at Aqueduct on March 3rd, three seconds - the Grade 2 Illinois Derby on April 7th, a Maiden Special Weight race at Gulfstream on February 11th and an Allowance Optional Claiming at Churchill Downs along with a third last time out in the Grade 2 Dwyer at Belmont on June 30th. That makes five placings in six career starts for Morgan's Guerilla.
Called to Serve - made his stakes debut last time out with a fifth in the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park on July 4th after two straight wins - an Allowance race and a Maiden Special Weight race at Santa Anita on April 14th.
Macho Bull - has raced two straight graded stakes races - an eighth last time out in the Grade 3 American Derby and a third in the Grade 3 Iowa after some unflattering results in Allowance races this year. The Iowa Derby result was nice - behind names like Hansen and Hero of Order but his eighth last time out raises some red flags.
Penn's Grant - will be making his stakes debut on Saturday after a pair of wins were followed by a second place finish last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming. Penn's Grant has two wins, a second and two third place finishes in six career starts.
Z Camelot - has eight career starts and only three third place finishes to show for it - two of those thirds have come in the last three starts - all Maiden Special Weight races at Churchill Downs.