The 20th Running of the G3 WV Derby
Saturday, August 6, 2022
MNR Race #17 $500.000
3YOs 119 Lbs 11/8
Track/Stakes Record-1:47.49 (Clash Study-2017)
Graded stakes action comes to MNR on Saturday and the $500.000 headliner is the G3 WV Derby. Eight sophomores passed through the entry box; however, Lions Reward was withdrawn after securing post three, so we’ll have a field of seven barring any unforseen changes. Not sure where punters will land on Saturday as all of these appear to have a healthy level of appeal and reason for skepticism in their form lines. With that said, let’s take a closer look at the field for the G3 WV Derby:
#1 America First (TwinTowerRacing/F. Geroux): Rail horse couldn’t go back-to-back as he faded to 5th in G3 Dwyer after capturing TX Derby in a DH. He was forwardly-placed in both of those tries after seemingly being devoid of early foot prior. Draws well to utilize those tactics again and gets to take the shortest way around the track if he chooses to do so.
#2 Anna Da Artist (Smokey Stover/Al. Gonzalez): Trainer offered him up for a tag in three consecutive winning efforts to start the season, and then won two more after putting him in against allowance foes. Finally lost in a $125.000 LA stake, but he ran very well in that runner-up effort. Tries graded foes here and would make for quite the story if he pulls this off.
#3 Lions Reward (Smokey Stover/SCRATCHED)
#4 General Tsao (Mojica Racing/M.E. Smith): Speaking of good stories, this guy was auctioned in March and brought a winning bid of $2.000. All he’s done since is reel off four consecutive wins, including a $50.000 stake in his latest. Pool is deeper here, but have to like the consistency he’s found in the new barn. He does move a bit closer to the rail with the scratch and should have every chance to show he belongs.
#5 Schmidt (Nakamura Stables/L.J. Luzzi): The other half of the DH in the TX Derby, gelding comes here after a respectable 4th at this G3 level up at WO. Looks to be one that relishes a stalking trip so how wide he has to run will be something to watch. He’s relatively lightly-raced this season, so there could be more improvement on the table for this guy.
#6 Ideal Info (Arindel/D. Moran): KYD participant just missed on his reappearance at WO in G3, so it appears he got over the CD experience no worse for the wear. Needs to break his current pattern of good start, bad start; however, his good races make him ultra competitive in this spot. Probably hoping for a two-wide trip from here, but he’s run well from wider before.
#7 Magz (Gdp Inc/M. Murrill): Sprinter stretched-out nicely enough to come home 3rd in the IND Derby at this level last time, and he comes back for more here. Has to navigate an extra sixteenth here and there are many in the game that can’t quite make that transition. Still, he’s the only 2022 graded-winner in the field, and, other thatn the G1 Stephens debacle, he’s shown himself to bring his race wherever he shows up.
#8 Everymanforhimself (Mb Stables/R. Gutierrez): Used back-to-back runner-up efforts down at FG to get in the KYD and BEL, but didn’t get much done against those G1 foes. Came back in the G3 IND Derby with another dull performance, so this may be a watershed moment for this guy. Maybe a return to the front gets him back on track, but he’ll have to clear them all from out here.
Final Analysis: We see this one as a cold 6-1 exacta in the G3 WV Derby. Good luck to everyone in this and all of their races this weekend.