5West Saratoga

Official finish


Harry L. Veruchi


Larry Demeritte




Harry Veruchi’s West Saratoga picked up 10 points on the 2024 Road to the Kentucky Derby following his 1 3/4-length victory in the $300,000 Iroquois S. (G3) at Churchill Downs on Sept. 16. The winner clocked one mile on the fast main surface in 1:37.28 with Rafael Bejarano in the stirrups.
His pilot said, “I thought I’d just let my horse settle and start to get going around the turn. I could tell at the three-eighths pole I had a lot of horse beneath me.”

Trained by Larry Demeritte, the gray debuted on April 7 and finished fourth in a maiden special weight dash at Keeneland. The son of Exaggerator went on to come home runner-up in a trio of races in succession prior to breaking through with a 1 1/4-length tally at Ellis Park on August 5. His career line now reads 6-2-3-0, $276,815.

West Saratoga was bred in the Bluegrass State by Two Hearts Farm II and attracted a final bid of $11,000 at the 2022 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. He is the first black-type victor produced from the unraced Uncle Mo mare Mo Wicked and hails from the same female line as Grade 1 heroine Wickedly Perfect.

The winner has registered Brisnet Speed figures of 80-86-89 from his last trio of performances, with the last two coming in his pair of route assignments to date. He is surely eligible to continue to improve going forward.

“We’ve been just trying to let him progress naturally,” Demeritte said. “He went a mile last time and we were confident today going the same distance. We’ll decide in the next day or so what’s next.”

The $600,000 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland on Oct. 7 could be the next spot for West Saratoga.

Stay Up To Date With The Latest News

Read here for the latest updates around the Kentucky Derby.

Wager big on the Kentucky Derby

View Expert Picks, Live Odds, Future Wager Pools and more!

Download the Derby App

The new and improved Kentucky Derby app has everything you need to enjoy your day at the races. Both Android and iOS apps are now available!