Photo: Courtesy of Oaklawn Park
Seven 3-year-old colts will vie for a purse of $500,000 and a chance to add the Grade 3 West Virginia Derby to their resume on Saturday.
The 1 1/8 mile event attracted the Belmont Stakes third- and fourth-place finishers and the Kentucky Derby fourth-place finisher.
Laurie Ross of Pedigree Power and Ashley Tamulonis of Coast To Coast sort out the contenders from the pretenders.
Laurie: Over the last decade, presser/setters have been most successful in this race. The majority prepared with a first or second place in the Indiana or Iowa Derbies. The closest we have to that is King Ottoman, who was third in Indiana.
We the People is the confirmed front runner. Courvoisier and Skippylongstocking may keep him company, and perhaps Simplification will join the party. It would have been nice if Flavian Prat made the journey to ride We the People, but Santana is an acceptable substitute.
Ashley: We the People should fly out of the gate and go straight to the lead. I expect Simplification and Skippylongstocking to be hot on his heels. I am really liking “Skippy” at those 5-1 morning line odds. He finished ahead of We the People in the Belmont. Additionally, the three horses that beat him to the wire in his two best efforts (the Wood Memorial and the Belmont) are not in this field. This seems as good a spot as any to get that first graded win.