Mountaineer Racetrack Prepares For West Virginia Derby On August 6

Written By Nathan Frederick on July 13, 2023
The West Virginia Derby is slated for Aug. 6 at Mountaineer Racetrack.

One of West Virginia’s biggest horse races is only a few weeks away. And this year, the West Virginia Derby is moving to Sunday, giving it more of a spotlight outside of what is usually a jam-packed Saturday simulcast schedule.

In April, officials at the Mountaineer Racetrack in New Cumberland, announced the new date for the Derby, which will run on Sunday, Aug. 6 this year.

The West Virginia Derby is a $500,000 nine-furlong race for three-year-olds that will cap off an exciting day of WV horse racing action. The WV Derby Day also features the $200,000 Governor’s Stakes and a handful of other stakes races, as well.

Doors open at 2 p.m. on the day of the Derby, with the post time for the main race set for 5 p.m.

“This is our top day of the season,” Jim Colvin, racing director for Mountaineer, told PlayWV before last year’s race. “We’re expecting a big handle, we have a great field for the West Virginia Derby, and this is a huge day all around, not just for the county, but for the entire state.”

2023 West Virginia Derby should feature a talented field

In last year’s event, Skippylongstocking won his first stakes race with a victory at the West Virginia Derby with a time of 1:48.11.

This year’s field is still forming, but a trio of talented horses are expected to compete. One of them is Hit Show, a horse trained by Brad H. Cox, that won the 2023 Withers and followed that with solid showings in the 2023 Wood Memorial (2nd), the Kentucky Derby (5th) and the Belmont Stakes (4th).

Other expected entrants include:

Lord Miles: A Kentucky-bred horse that won the 2023 Wood Memorial in New York and fared well in the Ohio Derby in April (4th) and the Tampa Bay Derby (5th) in March.

Kingsbarns: A horse trained by Todd Pletcher that won the Louisiana Derby in March, but finished 14th in the Kentucky Derby in May.

West Virginia Derby offers entertainment both on and off Mountaineer Racetrack

Tickets for the West Virginia Derby are already on sale. The cost for the event is $10 for General Admission or $15 for a package that includes the race, an official program and a West Virginia Derby commemorative glass.

Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort is hosting a total of 124 races this year, with live action scheduled for every Sunday through Wednesday throughout 2023.

The West Virginia Racing Commission also recently approved a pair of upgrades for the track in New Cumberland. Those include a $44,000 project to upgrade the track’s sand surface and an additional $79,620 investment that will rebuild the racetrack’s outdoor viewing deck.

Away from the racetrack, the Mountaineer Casino features more than 78,000 square feet of space, 1,500 slot machines, more than 30 table games and a poker room that is open 24 hours a day. The Mountaineer Casino also has a Caesars Sportsbook that has a video wall broadcasting all of the day’s sports action.

For guests who are staying overnight, the Mountaineer Resort offers both rooms and suites, five different dining options for foodies, a fitness center, gift shop, full-service spa and the 18-hole Woodview Golf Course.

Reservations can be made now. Interested parties may also want to check the resort’s website as race day approaches since additional promotions or offers could still be added.

And for those who are unable to attend in person, players can still wager on the West Virginia Derby thanks to online apps like FanDuel Racing, which offers numerous betting options, live streams, wagering guides, expert tips and much more.

Photo by Charlie Riedel / AP
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Nathan Frederick

Nathan Frederick is an award-winning writer with more than 1,000 published bylines and two decades of journalism experience. His work has won awards from the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Journalists, the Keystone Press Association, and the Associated Press Sports Editors. He has also authored three books, one of which debuted as an Amazon No. 1 New Release.

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