How to bet the 2022 West Virginia Derby

August 4th, 2022

A well-matched field of seven three-year-olds will contest the signature race at Mountaineer on Saturday. The $500,000 West Virginia Derby (G3) is a nine-furlong test on the main surface that features some accomplished, and up-and-coming, sophomores in what could be a good betting affair.

The Brad Cox-trained #3 Home Brew (3-1)  was unplaced in the Smarty Jones S. at Oaklawn Park in January, but the son of Street Sense has come back a different animal since that performance. The bay colt came out on top in the Oaklawn S. in April, and he followed that up with a superb tally in the Pegasus S. at Monmouth Park in his most recent offering.

Home Brew has trained well in advance of Saturday and seems to be well spotted to move his win streak to three with his best effort. He has the speed to stay in touch early, as well as the turn of foot to run down his foes in the lane, and he is already proven at the distance. Paco Lopez comes in to retain the mount which I view as a major positive.

#2 Simplification (5-2) had a fantastic spring which included a victory in the Fountain of Youth S. (G2), a solid third in the Florida Derby (G1), as well as a fantastic fourth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) despite having a less-than-favorable voyage. The Antonio Sano trainee didn’t fire his best shot when sixth in the Preakness (G1), but he received a well-deserved break following his run at Pimlico and figures to come back well. The Florida-bred son of Not This Time will never be far from the lead under the guidance of Jose Lezcano.

I have liked the steady progression made by Steve Asmussen’s #4 King Ottoman (6-1) this campaign and will tab the son of Curlin for a top-three result in the heat. The Three Chimneys homebred broke his maiden in the Texas Derby at Lone Star two back and followed that up with a respectable third in the Indiana Derby last time out. I expect the gray to prosper with more ground to work with on Saturday beneath Brian Hernandez, Jr.

Morning-line choice #6 We The People (2-1), a smashing winner of the Peter Pan S. (G2) two back, led early prior to finishing fourth in the Belmont S. (G1) last time out. The Constitution colt can obviously win the race, but I prefer to limit his usage to the gimmicks on this occasion.

West Virginia Derby Wagers

  • $20 win: #3 Home Brew ($20)
  • $5 exacta: key 3 with 2, 4, 6 ($15)
  • $2 trifecta: key 3 with 2, 4, 6 ($12)