Willy wins the Razorback
Impaired by a slow pace in his most recent start, Jer-Mar Stables' WIN WILLY (Monarchos) found conditions more hospitable to his closing kick in Saturday's $150,000 Razorback H. (G3) at Oaklawn Park. Racing near the back of the eight-horse field as 29-1 chance Spotsgone (Bright Launch) set an uncontested pace of :23 2/5, :47 and 1:11 3/5, Win Willy advanced into contention with a bold four-wide run around the far turn and had plenty left to turn on the afterburners in the stretch. Under Cliff Berry, the gray drew off to a convincing 3 3/4-length win, setting himself up nicely for the April 3 Oaklawn H. (G2). The 5-2 second choice in the Razorback, Win Willy returned $7.40, $3.80 and $2.60 after finishing up 1 1/16 miles over the fast track in 1:43 4/5.
Grade 3 veteran Spotsgone ran a terrific race and held second by a length, giving back $18.60 and $7. Gone Astray (Dixie Union), the Phipps Stable' 8-5 favorite, endured a wide trip throughout in his seasonal bow, but found enough in the final yards to hold off the late charge of 7-1 shot Prom Shoes (Include) by a neck for the show. He gave back $2.80. The exacta returned $204.80, the trifecta $589.20, and the 4-2-8-1 superfecta (4-2-8-1) paid $2,679.20.
Jonesboro (Sefapiano), Racing Bran (Awesome Again), Acting Zippy (City Zip) and Mad Flatter (Flatter) completed the order of finish.
Win Willy first burst on the scene a year ago when upsetting the Rebel S. (G2) at 56-1. After a late-closing fourth in the Arkansas Derby (G2), the gray was forced to pass on the Kentucky Derby (G1) when a small fracture began to develop in his left front ankle. After a five-month rest, he returned to run third in an Arlington Park allowance and then was fifth in the Indiana Derby (G2). Freshened for the Oaklawn meet, he kicked off 2010 with a one-mile allowance score on January 21 and preceded this with a second to Racing Bran in the Essex H. last month. On Saturday, he improved his scoresheet to 10-5-1-1, $412,643.
Bred by Overbrook Farm in Kentucky, the winner was purchased by his current connections for $25,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. He was produced by stakes victress City Fair (Carson City) and has a yearling half-sister by Include. This is the family of two-time German highweight Royal Abjar (Gone West) and Prix de Diane Hermes (French Oaks) (Fr-G1) heroine Escaline (Fr) (Arctic Tern).
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