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The West Virginia Derby logo with a jockey and a couple of horses shown behind the logo

West Virginia Derby

Dates & Time

Sat, Aug 5


Mountaineer Racetrack

It was back in 1786 when Colonel Charles Washington, the brother of George Washington, organized what’s believed to be the first organized horse racing event in what eventually became West Virginia. The purse was “40 pounds,” a good deal less than what the Grade 2, $750,000 West Virginia Derby will offer on Saturday, August 5, 2017, at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort. Charles Washington provided the foundation for West Virginia’s racing heritage. And, more than any other event, the West Virginia Derby annually fortifies that heritage.

Other West Virginia Derby Notes

West Virginia Derby was run at Tri State Park in Huntington, West Virginia, in 1923, 1924 and 1926, and at Wheeling Downs in Wheeling, West Virginia, in 1958, 1959 and 1961. Distance of race was 1 1/16 miles in 1926, and 1 1/8 miles in all other runnings. West Virginia Derby was run in two divisions in 1972 and 1981. Captain Nash actually finished first in the 1970 running of the race, but was disqualified and placed second for causing interference during the stretch run. Prior to 1998, the West Virginia Derby was timed to one-fifth of a second. Since then, the race has been timed to one-hundredth of a second.Run at Wheeling Downs prior to 1963.
Not run in 1925, 1927, 1957, 1960, 1962, 1982-1987, 1991-1997.
Captain Nash finished first in 1970 but was disqualified and placed second.
Run in two divisions in 1972 and 1981.
Track record 2003 Soto 1:46:29
*(All Races 1 1/8, Except 1926: 1 1/16)
Grade III 2002-2008
Grade II 2009-Present


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