"Libraries are brothels for the mind. Which means that librarians are the madams, greeting punters, understanding their strange tastes and needs, and pimping their books." --Guy Browning
For the past week, Turf Luck has received a number of visits from folks who arrived here by searching for "West Virginia Derby Entries". Oh punters, Madam QQ understands your strange need... here, dearies, let me guide you to those little corners of the Web that cater to your tastes:
Mountaineer Race Track hosts an entire card of stakes racing on Sunday. Entries were released Wednesday, and you can find them along with past performances at: Brisnet, Daily Racing Form, and Equibase. All of these sources charge a fee for the past performances, but viewing the entries is free.
Because Flashy Bull is entered in the West Virginia Derby, Darley, the home of his sire, Holy Bull, is providing free past performances for the race. Bob Baffert, trainer of Derby entrant Wanna Runner, also offers the Derby past performances at no charge. Likewise Stonerside Stables provides the past performances for the Mountaineer Juvenile Stakes (race 4) because they are the proud breeders and owners of Speedway, one of the entrants.
Daily Racing Form gives an overview of some of the races in "West Virginia Derby overflow field of 13". More pre-game analysis is available in "West Virginia Derby big test for Bright One", another DRF article that confirms that FLASHY BULL IS COMING TO THE MOUNTAIN! (Sorry, but madam has a fondness for the grays.)
DRF also previews The WV Governor's Cup and several of the day's other races.
Two articles from the Wheeling News-Register offer some information about the jockeys who'll be racing today: "Derby Field Ready" notes that three of the Derby jockeys have Kentucky Derby wins, while "Derby Brings Top Jockeys" focuses on Jeremy Rose, who'll be riding Regent Spirit in the Derby, Halo's Sailing Sain in the WV Governor's Cup and Senor Swinger in the WV House of Delegate's Speakers Cup.
Finally, here's an overview of the day, based on what grabbed my attention as my printer popped out the past performances ever so slowly:
Race 1 - The Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies Stakes. Purse: $85,000. 6f, dirt. Nine two-year-olds are entered, including Change Up, a Distorted Humor filly trained by Steve Flint and Cohiba Miss trained by Bernie Flint. Rex Stokes will be up on Meadow Breeze, who beat Cohiba Miss and Spooked, another entrant, in July. ML favorite: Appealing Zophie at 2-1.
Race 2 - The WV Legislature Chairman's Cup. Purse: $85,000. 4-1/2 f, dirt. For 3yo and up. Nine entries here, including Caller One, who's won more than $3 million in his long career (he's 9) and Bernie Blue, who won the Mountain State Stakes with a 102 Beyer on July 3. Pay attention to Scott Lake's Outcashem who's posted 3 triple-digit Beyer's this year. He's 6 for 6 in 2006, all in allowance or stakes races. And he's 2 for 2 at the Mountain. And he's the ML favorite at 4-5.
Race 3 - The West Virginia Secretary of State Stakes. Purse: $85,000. 6f, dirt, fillies & Mares, 3 and up. She's That Cat tries to make it 6 for 6 at the Mountain, but Hot Storm, who finished third in the G1 Princess Rooney in July looks hard to beat. There are 12 entries in this race; the ML favorite is Hot Storm at 8-5.
Race 4 - The Mountaineer Juvenile Stakes. Purse: $85,000. 6f, dirt. 2 yo. Eleven colts entered here, including Air Lord from Todd Pletcher (I feel oh, so Saratoga when I type that!) and Datrick, a G3 winner trained by Scott Blasi and ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan. Datrick is the ML favorite at 5-2.
Race 5 - The West Virginia Senate President's Breeders' Cup. Purse: $125,000. 1m, turf, fillies & mares. The best event you won't see on ESPN. Lady Grace won this one last year; the running line reads, "dictated, stakes record". This year the going may be tougher for the 8-yo mare. She came in 1/2-length behind Rue de Reves in the Summer Finale here last fall, and won by only a length over Cat Alert in the WV President's Cup prep race run on July 18. Cat Alert and Bag of Quarters, who came in third in the prep, have the post positions that have yielded the most winners at Mountaineer so far, but Radiant Avie, ridden by Mark Guidry, looks to be the biggest threat in the field of 12; she's fresh off a win over Rue de Reves in the Lady Canterbury. ML favorite: Lady Grace at 5-2.
Race 6 - The Harvey Arneault Memorial Breeders' Cup Handicap. Purse: $125,000. 6f, dirt. 3 and up. Gaff comes to the Mountain! Shaun Bridgmohan will ride him as he tries to rebound from the disastrous last place finish in the Smile Sprint at Calder, while Mark Guidry will be on Wild Tale for Mike Dini. One to watch: P.Kerney, who posted a 109 Beyer last time out and has run first or second in all five of his races this year. Smallest field of the day at 7 entries. Not surprisingly, ML favorite is Gaff at 8-5.
Race 7 - The WV Governor's Cup. Purse: $125,000. 1-1/16m, dirt. 3 and up. Real Dandy returns; last year, Mark Guidry rode him to victory in the WV Derby. This year, the two team up to face Don't Get Mad, winner of the G2 Indiana Derby and Cherokee's Boy who came in 22 lengths behind Flower Alley in the Salvator Mile in June. There are 8 runners in the field. ML favorite: Don't Get Mad at 5-2.
Race 8 - The WV Derby. G3. Purse: $750,000. 1-1/8m, dirt. 3yo. Bob Baffert, Richard Dutrow, King Leatherbury, Kieran McLaughlin, Todd Pletcher, Dale Romans, Richard Violette, and Nick Zito are among the trainers sending out runners in the day's showcase event. In alphabetical order, because, doggone it, that's what I do, the field includes: Ah Day, Bright One, Cielo Gold, Circle the World, Crocodile Tears, Flashy Bull, High Blues, High Finance, Luxembourg, More Than Regal, Regent Spirit, and Wanna Runner. Bright One is getting a lot of attention; his trainer, Dale Romans, is spotlighed in the Wheeling News-Register, and his photo accompanied a DRF article about the Derby. Despite that, Wanna Runner is the morning line favorite at 3-1.
Race 9 - The WV House of Delegates Speakers Cup. Purse: $85,000. 1m, turf. 3 and up. Lac a Rock went off at 36-1 in July when he won the prep race for this event with a 100 Beyer. He faces Touched by Madness and Legal Control, the second and third place finishers in Colonial's Da Hoss stakes, as well as Buckeye Buddy, who placed 2nd in Mountaineer's Independence Day Stakes. Senor Swinger, with graded stakes experience and Jeremy Rose in the irons, is the 3-1 ML favorite.
And there you have it, the big day at Mountaineer. What, you wanted picks, too? So sorry, dearie, but Madam believes these things work out best when the punter chooses.