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Chavez wins in N.Y., W.Va.

August 12, 2002|by LARRY YANOS

larryy@herald-mail.com

CHESTER, W. Va. - The journey proved worthwhile.

Jockey Jorge Chavez, who competed at the Saratoga, N.Y. Race Course earlier in the day, made the trip to the Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort here Saturday night and guided favored Wiseman's Ferry to a wire-to-wire victory in the 30th running of the West Virginia Derby.

The Grade III $600,000 event, the richest thoroughbred race in West Virginia history, attracted nine horses.The winner received $360,000.

Wiseman's Ferry, beaten a neck by Magic Weisner in the Ohio Derby his last time out, went to the lead and held off a late challenge by The Judge Sez Who and jockey Jerry Bailey to win the mile-and-eighth test for three-year-olds.

"Judging from the previous races tonight, I knew we didn't have to get the early lead," Chavez said in the winner's circle. "He likes the lead but he also had something left down the stretch."

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Wiseman's Ferry, trained by Niall O'Callaghan, returned $5.80 and covered the mile-and-eighth distance in 1:49.3.

Wiseman's Ferry now shows three wins, a second and a third from five starts in 2002. For his career, the son of Hennessy has four wins, two second-place finishes and two third-place finishes from 12 career starts.

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