Jer-Mar Stable's Win Willy became the most recent addition to the equine millionaire ranks with his victory in the $50,000 Joseph French Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park June 1.
The 7-year-old Monarchos horse bankrolled $30,000 for his 1 3/4-length victory to bring his career earnings mark to $1,015,437. With Alex Cintron aboard, he covered the mile and a sixteenth in 1:44.64 over a fast main track and returned $7 as the favorite in the field of seven.
The Kentucky-bred conditioned by Delaware Park-based McLean Robertson has a lifetime record of 11 wins, five seconds and six thirds from 32 starts. At Delaware Park, his career slate stands at 5-2-1 from eight outings. Among his scores are seven stakes victories, including the 2009 Rebel (gr. II) and 2011 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II).
"I have never had a horse go over a million dollars in earnings," said Robertson in a release. "I have had some nice horses, but it is hard to keep them around. It is hard to do.
"I thought he could be a real good horse," Robertson added. "He's by Monarchos out of a real nice mare (City Fair, by Carson City), and he had speed. He was fast, and you do not see many by Monarchos that show speed. The day he broke his maiden he showed a lot of speed, so you always hope that when they stretch out to longer distances, the speed will transfer, and it did with him."
Robertson said determination and focus have been the keys to Win Willy's success and longevity.
"He is a real competitive horse," he explained. "He does not like getting beat, and when he does, he does not pout about it. He has run against some tough horses and gotten beat, but he always comes back for more. Most horses want less of that as they get older, but he is different in that way."
Robertson will likely try to find a race at Delaware Park for Win Willy's next start. The trainer is considering a grass allowance contest in hopes it may come off that surface.
As long as the two-time grade II winner shows the desire to run, Robertson does not see the end of Win Willy's career coming any time soon.
"It is really up to him," Robertson said. "I am pretty thankful to have a horse like him. As long as he is training and working well, I am going to run him. If he is not training and working good, then he is not. It is whatever he wants to do. He is pretty happy at Delaware. As long as he is happy, he will be running."
Bred in Kentucky by Overbrook Farm, Win Willy was a $25,000 Keeneland September yearling sale purchase in 2007.