Lord Miles and Raise Cain, who turned in upsets of the two leading Kentucky Derby (G1) preps at Aqueduct during the spring, will each look to get back on the winning track Sunday at Mountaineer in the $500,000 West Virginia Derby (G3).
Lord Miles was a 59-1 chance when he captured the April 8 Wood Memorial (G2) by a nose in a three-way photo. Subsequently scratched from the Kentucky Derby, Lord Miles reappeared in late June for the Ohio Derby (G3), but did not fare well when finishing fourth, 16 lengths behind the now-retired Two Phil’s.
Raise Cain has run four times since winning the one-mile Gotham (G3) in early March by more than seven lengths in the slop. The son of Violence finished fifth in the Blue Grass (G1), eighth in the Kentucky Derby, and fourth in the Matt Winn (G3), but turned in a much stronger effort to miss by a nose to Verifying in last month’s Indiana Derby (G3) over 1 1/16 miles.
Trainer Steve Asmussen, who has won the West Virginia Derby a record five times, will be represented by the deep-closing Red Route One, a son of Gun Runner who finished fourth in the Preakness (G1) and an eased-down eighth in the Belmont (G1) during the spring. At Oaklawn over the winter, Red Route One placed in the Southwest (G3) and Rebel (G2) before taking the inaugural Bath House Row S. over nine furlongs, the West Virginia Derby distance.
The speedy multiple stakes winner One in Vermillion was most recently disqualified from first and placed second in the Iowa Derby after drifting out late and impeding a rival. Tapit’s Conquest, meanwhile, returns to the graded ranks following a second to Arabian Lion in the restricted Sir Barton S. at Pimlico and then posting a narrow allowance win at Ellis going 1 1/8 miles. Others lining up include the Grade 3-placed Groveland and West Coast Cowboy.