GIII – WV Derby
$750.000 Graded Stake 1 1/8th Mile on Dirt For Three Year Olds
2016 Champ: Edwin Drood
The WV Derby field is down to a field of eight with the scratch of Tragic. The field is headlined by Clash Study who is putting his five race win streak on the line but Australia Wide’s up and coming three year old Moccasin Skin has a legit shot at giving him a run for his money. Lets take a look at the field.
1- Atletico (Trained by Our Athletes, Ridden by Geroux F)
The WV Derby looks to be the tipping point for Atletico. His past three races have all been blow outs after his dead heat victory in the LA Derby back on April first. Two twelfth and one thirteenth place finish has been the last three results along with two more weak results before his LA Derby win. The bad loses are starting to pile up and if he can’t turn it around here likely needs a big drop in class.
2- Rush Henrietta (Trained by Mb Stables, Ridden by Gallardo A A)
A recent private purchase will be running for new connections, Mb Stables for the first time. His most recent start was nothing special but the purchase wasn’t based on his performance in the afternoons. It was based on his morning work when has been impressive. His July 8th work is a top ten mile work for three year olds and the new connections are hoping for better performance when it comes to race time. Based on his recent races he is in well over his head but fits right in if he can race more like he trains so we will see if his new stable can get the best of out of him.
3- Socraties (Trained by John Henry, Ridden by Smith M E)
The first of two straight coming from the barn of John Henry. Also a recent private sale purchase running for his new connections is Socraties. After a disappointing performance in the Wood Memorial hes put together a string of much better races including a GIII win. Based on recent running style he could be one looking to set the early pace and hold on late. It didn’t work in his most recent start but will hope for some easy early fractions.
4- Painted Blood (Trained by John Henry, Ridden by Rosario J)
Officially a stake winner after winning his most recent start, the PA bred Leematt. He’s been competitive all year long and has yet to put in a bad performance. It is a large step up from state bred stakes but isn’t too far off most of the others in the race. The race is shaping up to be a two horse race but any one of the others has a shot at third place money.
5- Warrior Chant (Trained by Sccj Stables, Ridden by Husbands P)
Warrior Chant went from running against Crop Duster to taking on Clash Study in this one. Both three year olds are two of the hottest runners right now and last time out Crop Duster was the only one able to beat him. He may not have as much talent and doesn’t get the respect the horses he typically goes up against but always seems to give a gutsy effort. That includes his win of the year, the Risen Star where he went off at almost 58-1 and was able to pull off the victory to stamp his ticket to the Derby. Leave him off your ticket and he can make you regret it in a hurry!
6- Moccasin Skin (Trained by Australia Wide, Ridden by Lopez P)
Moccasin Skin will be one to watch in this one. He has looked good with his new connections with two straight third place finishes, both at a mile and both fast closing on the leaders. He loves to come from the clouds and in his last few races has been much the best down the stretch but just runs out of room. The added distance looks to be an advantage and should only help him. If any horse in this race can give Clash Study a run for his money it’s this one.
7- Clash Study (Trained by Smokey Stover, Ridden by Castellano J J)
Quickly becoming the horse to beat in the three year old division. His rise to stardom has been five consecutive wins as he climbed the ladder from optional claimer to graded stake winner. As of yet no one has had an answer for his late kick down the stretch, he has yet to stretch it out over a mile until now. This will be the test to see if hes able to handle more of the classic distances and as of right now nothing suggests he wont be able to. He will be the heavy favorite come post time and will be extremely tough to stop.
8- Winter Is Coming (Trained by D J C Racing Stables, Ridden by Moran D)
Rounding out the field of eight after the scratch of Tragic is Winter Is Coming. He will likely leave the gate quickly looking to clear the field early one and could be sitting on or near the lead. His only other attempt at a mile and an eighth was a solid, closing seventh place finish in the GI AR Derby. He has the talent to at least hold onto a top three position if he can get soft enough early fractions.
9- Tragic – SCRATCHED
My Selection: 7/6/5