Chester, WV (SportsNetwork.com) - Tapiture, the 9-5 second choice, rallied through the stretch to nip 8-5 favorite Candy Boy at the wire in winning Saturday's 45th running of the $750,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park.
Louisiana Derby winner Vicar's in Trouble set the pace in the 1 1/8-mile stakes for eight 3-year-olds. Tapiture, trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Rosie Napravnik, settled off the pace along with Candy Boy.
Coming into the stretch, Vicar's in Trouble was joined on the lead by Candy Boy and Tapiture. Candy Boy, ridden by Corey Nakatani, got past Vicar's in Trouble inside the furlong pole as Tapiture rallied down the middle of the track.
Tapiture and Candy Boy hit the wire together with just a nose separating the pair. Vicar's in Trouble held on for third followed by Classic Giacnroll, For Goodness Sake, Divine View, Key for Success and Only I Know. Gold Appointment was scratched.
The time for the West Virginia Derby was 1:50.66 on a fast track.
Owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, Tapiture posted his second straight stakes win and fourth overall. The chestnut colt added $456,750 to his earnings which now total just over $1 million. All his wins have come in stakes during his 10 race career.
As a 2-year-old, he won the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes and this year captured the Southwest Stakes and Matt Winn.
Tapiture returned $5.60, $2.60 and $2.20. Candy Boy paid $2.60 and $2.20, and Vicar's in Trouble paid $2.80 to show.