Macho Macho upsets Hansen in West Virginia Derby
Chester, WV (Sports Network) - Macho Macho, the 9-2 second pick, caught and overtook odds-on favorite Hansen nearing the wire to capture Saturday's 43rd running of the $750,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park. The time for the 1 1/8 miles on a fast track was 1:49.98.
Hansen, the 2011 champion two-year-old colt, went off as the 3-5 favorite in the nine horse field. Ridden by Mike Smith for the first time, Hansen battled with Hero of Order for the lead closely followed by Macho Macho and Called to Serve.
Down the backstretch, Hero of Order was along the rail not allowing Hansen to get away and set an easy pace. Jockey Corey Nakatani kept Macho Macho near the two leaders with Bourbon Courage running in fourth.
Around the final turn Hansen shook loose from Hero of Order with Macho Macho moving into second from the outside. The favorite had a short lead at the top of the stretch but was quickly joined by Macho Macho and Bourbon Courage.
Hansen tired down the stretch as Macho Macho and Bourbon Courage dueled to the wire. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Macho Macho finished a half-length ahead of Bourbon Courage with Called to Serve getting past Hansen for third.
Completing the order of finish were Louisiana Derby winner Hero of Order, Penn's Grant, Macho Bull, Z Camelot and Le Bernardin. Morgan's Guerrilla was scratched.
The win by Macho Macho is the fourth West Virginia Derby triumph for Asmussen. Three years ago Soul Warrior gave the trainer his third West Virginia Derby victory. Asmussen also won the race with Real Dandy (2005) and Zanjero (2007).
Macho Macho, owned by Jerry Durant, picked up $451,500 with the win. The gray colt has won three of seven starts, all in 2012, for $546,214.
The son of Macho Uno was coming off a second-place finish behind My Adonis in the Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 8. On June 16 at Churchill Downs he was third to Neck 'n Neck in the Matt Winn Stakes.
Macho Macho returned $11.60, $5.60 and $11.00. Bourbon Courage paid $6.60 and $15.40, and Called to Serve paid $23.00 to show.
08/04 19:21:44 ET