This time of year most of the attention in the world of U. S. racing is on the two coasts. Del Mar in the west and Saratoga in the east are all the rage. But Saturday, August 2, in the hills of West Virginia, not far from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack, and Resort has come up with a card that is chock full of entries trained by the likes of Tom Amoss, Steve Asmussen, Bernie Flint, and Mike Maker, and ridden by Calvin Borel, Cory Nakatani, and Rosie Napravnik, among others.
The 9-race card has purses worth $1,650,000 with the featured West Virginia Derby (Grade II) at $750,000. The first race is at 2 PM EDT and the West Virginia Derby is at 5:45 PM.
Mountaineer Racetrack is located on the banks of the Ohio River and has a scenic hilly background. In the summer mornings, the fog usually rises from the river to blanket the racetrack as the horses work out.
Mountaineer does not have the social cachet of Del Mar or Saratoga, but this Saturday’s day of racing offers an attractive betting card. West Virginia Derby day draws an enthusiastic crowd of people who navigate the windy roads to get to the racetrack–the kind of routes John Denver may have been singing about in Take Me Home, Country Roads.
Here is a summary of the card:
Race 1, $100,000, 6 furlongs, for 2-year-olds, 10 entries.
Race 2, $100,000, 4 ½ furlongs, 3-year-olds and up, 11 entries.
Race 3, $100,000, 6 furlongs, fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, 12 entries.
Race 4, $100,000, 6 furlongs, 2-year-old fillies, 12 entries.
Race 5, $100,000, 1 mile and 70 yards, turf, fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up, 12 entries.
Race 6, $100,000, 6 furlongs, 3-year-olds and up, 12 entries.
Race 7, $200,000, 1 1/16 miles, 3-year-olds and up, 9 entries.
Race 8, $750,000 (West Virginia Derby), 1 1/8 miles, 9 entries.
Race 9, $100,000, 1mile and 70 yards, 3-year-olds and up, 12 entries.
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