Patch among entrants for West Virginia Derby

Staff report


Eleven 3-year-olds are scheduled to meet in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby on Saturday at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort.

The Grade III Derby at 11/8 miles is the eighth race on a nine-race program that begins at 2 p.m. Probable post time for the Derby is 5:21 p.m.

All starters will carry 118 pounds.

Among the entrants are two colts who last raced in the Grade I Belmont Stakes June 10 in New York and have been looking for a spot to begin their summer and fall campaigns. Many of the others have raced well recently in stakes from the East Coast to California.

Calumet Farm’s Patch, a Union Rags colt, finished third, beaten 7 æ lengths, in the Belmont, while L&N Racing’s Lookin At Lee, by Lookin At Lucky, finished 2 º lengths behind the victorious Tapwrit in the 1 Ω mile classic.

The latter horse, however, rallied for second in the Grade I Kentucky Derby, while Patch finished 14th in the first leg of the Triple Crown.

Many eyes were on Patch in the lead-up to the Kentucky Derby, and not only because he finished second in the Grade II Louisiana Derby behind Girvin.

The colt races with one eye — the left one was removed because of ailment after he began training as a 2-year-old — but it has been business as usual for the colt.

Girvin, meanwhile, on July 30 won the $1 million Haskell Invitational, a Grade I event at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.

Patch, who drew post position 3 in the West Virginia Derby, has finished first, second or third in four of his five starts.

His lone victory came in maiden special weight company Feb. 18 in Florida; in his career debut he finished second behind Impressive Edge, who also is entered in the Derby.

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