Win Willy, winner of the 2009 Rebel Stakes (gr. II), signaled his readiness for a return to stakes action when he drew off for a 2 1/2-length win Jan. 21 at Oaklawn in a one-mile optional claimer. Now, trainer Mac Robertson can move forward with his ambitious plans for a 2010 campaign with the 4-year-old son of Monarchos.
“I’d like to run in the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II, April 3) with a chance,” Robertson said. “The farther the better. I think a mile and an eighth is within his scope.”
As for the next move for the Jer-Mar Stable colt? “The Essex (Stakes) is doubtful,” Robertson said. “More like the Razorback (gr. III, March 6).”
Not since his maiden win has Win Willy been close to the pace, but on Jan. 21 he was never more than 3 1/4 lengths back before moving through the stretch. Blinkers were added in that start.
“He finished good,” Robertson said. “A mile’s a little short, but he came back good. He laid up a little closer, but he might just have been a little fresh. He might not have needed the blinkers. I don’t know if they did any good. They’re not going anywhere.
“I was real happy, but we didn’t try him real hard. The last 40 yards, that was the way he needed to run to move forward. They have been finishing in bunches, getting tired. But he drew clear late and galloped out better than the other ones.”
Win Willy, who finished fourth in the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and fifth in the Indiana Derby (gr. II) later in his 3-year-old season, has posted a 4-0-1 record from eight starts thus far. A $25,000 yearling, he has earned $302,643 already. The gray/roan colt was bred in Kentucky by Overbrook Farm and is out of the Carson City mare City Fair.