Departing, ridden by Robby Albarado, came from off the pace to win Saturday's 44th running of the 1 1/8-mile $750,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park.
Trained by Al Stall Jr., Departing was sent off as the 7-5 favorite in the nine-horse field with Overanalyze, trained by Todd Pletcher, the 2-1 second choice.
Departing, owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, was racing off the pace that was being set by Ruler of Love and Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel. Overanalyze was running third as the field entered the far turn.
Departing came wide around the final turn and took the lead entering the stretch. The 3-year-old gelding powered his way to an 8 3/4-length victory over Ruler of Love.
Overanalyze held on for third followed by Betweenhereandcool, Shaler, Stratocruiser, Say Ow, Ledokol and Mi Sto Divertendo.
The time for the West Virginia Derby was 1:51.47 on a fast track.
"That's his race right there," Stall said. "Once he gets underneath himself he's really a nice horse."
The winner in April of the Illinois Derby, Departing picks up $451,500 for the West Virginia win. The gelding has pocketed just over a $1 million in seven lifetime starts with five wins.
Stall said after the race that Departing could start next either in the Indiana, Pennsylvania or Super Derbies.
"The Travers could be under consideration," Stall said. "But, everybody sees what's been happening with the Todd Pletcher horses in Saratoga and Monmouth. So, we'll just kind of ride it out. It'll be one more 3-year-old race for sure."
Departing was making his first start since finishing sixth to Oxbow in the Preakness. After winning his only start as a 2-year-old, he began 2013 with an allowance win at Fair Grounds and a minor stakes victory at Sam Houston Park. He was third in the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds prior to the Illinois Derby.
Departing paid $4.80, $3.20 and $2.20. Ruler of Love returned $8.60 and $4.00, and Overanalyze paid $2.40 to show.