Foaled April 1, 2006
At 3: Won Rebel S. (G2,OP,8.5F)
At 4: Won Brandywine S. (Del); 2nd Oaklawn H. (G2,9F), Essex H. (OP,8.5F), Grover “Buddy” Delp S. (Del,8.5F)
At 5: Won Oaklawn H. (G2,9F), Fifth Season S. (OP,8.5F); 2nd Essex H. (OP,8.5F); 3rd Razorback H. (G3,8.5F)
At 6: Won Cape Henlopen S. (Del,8.5F), DTHA Governors Day S. (Del,1m70y); 2nd Joseph French S. (Del,8.5F); 3rd Carl Hanford S. (Del,9.5F)
At 7: Won Joseph French S.; 3rd Fifth Season S. (OP,8.5F), Essex H. (OP,8.5F)
Most Recent Auction Result: $45,000 Keeneland Association November 2014 Breeding Stock Sale
2015 at Rancho Natoches in La Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico
Note: Rancho Natoches also stands Fayeq, a half-brother to Rachel Alexandra, and Bold Legacy a half-brother, by Seattle Slew, to BernardiniWin willy Foaled April 1, 2006 At 3: Won Rebel S. (G2,OP,8.5F) At 4: Won Brandywine S. (Del); 2nd Oaklawn H. (G2,9F), Essex H. (OP,8.5F), Grover “Buddy” Delp S. (Del,8.5F) At 5: Won Oaklawn
Shaking Up Derby Trail, 56-to-1 Shot Wins Rebel
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. Larry Jones was already having a great day: his second-string Kentucky Derby prospect, Friesan Fire, had just cruised to a dominating victory in the Louisiana Derby in New Orleans, and here he was in the paddock at Oaklawn Park putting a saddle on undefeated Old Fashioned for the Rebel Stakes.
Jerome Myers is a practical handicapper. He had a colt in the Rebel, Win Willy, but he still thought Old Fashioned was a deserving 2-5 favorite. So he bet a $2 exacta, hoping his colt would finish second to Old Fashioned. After all, Win Willy was a 56-1 long shot.
When the field of nine turned for home in the mile-and-a-sixteenth race, Myers felt pretty smart. Win Willy was coming from dead last and passing horses, and his jockey, Cliff Berry, was feeling good.
“I thought I can finish third or fourth here,” Berry said.
When they hit the stretch, however, and all that stood between Win Willy and the finish line was Old Fashioned, Berry had an even better feeling.
“Hey, I’m going to win this,” he said to himself.
Win Willy catapulted past Old Fashioned for an emphatic two-and-a-quarter-length victory in 1 minute 44.41 seconds in the Grade II, $300,000 Rebel Stakes, turning the Kentucky Derby picture upside down.
Jones did not seem to know what to make of his colt’s first defeat in five starts.
“It’s hard to say what happened,” he said. “The track was heavy, and with those kind of fractions, it was bound to catch up with him.”
The 28,240 people here at what is known by some as the Saratoga of the South watched Old Fashioned stagger in the stretch after contesting wickedly fast fractions. He chased Silver City through a rapid half mile in 46.07 and three quarters of a mile in 1.11.67. It was little wonder that Old Fashioned, the son of Unbridled’s Song, staggered home in the stretch.
Earlier in the day, Pioneerof the Nile barely looked taxed, winning the San Felipe Stakes by a length and a quarter. Now, Pioneerof the Nile looks like one of the two strongest Derby contenders, with Friesan Fire. Also on Saturday, Musket Man captured the Tampa Bay Derby in Florida to earn consideration for a Kentucky Derby spot.
There is not another 3-year-old in the nation, however, who is as unlikely a candidate as Win Willy. The son of the 2001 Derby winner Monarchos, Win Willy was bought for a bargain of $25,000 on the final day of the Keeneland September Sale, which is where trainers like Mac Robertson shop for clients like Myers who are hardly millionaires.
Win Willy had won two of his three races and had never gone around two turns before the Rebel, which was also his first stakes try.
Robertson was already having a good meet. Last month, he sold Hamazing Destiny for $1.5 million after winning his debut race by 10 ½ lengths. Now, the Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas trains Hamazing Destiny, who finished eighth in the nine-horse field.
“You sold us the wrong horse,” Lukas said with a smile.
Robertson said entering Win Willy in the Rebel was a last-minute decision.
“I knew I had a closer, and we might get fast fractions,” said Robertson, who is based at Canterbury Downs, a second-tier track outside Minneapolis. “We could either run for a $30,000 allowance, or take a shot here and maybe pick up second or third.”
Instead, Myers, a retired-sheet metal manufacturer, earned a winning check of $180,000, and Win Willy’s backers got $115.60 for a $2 bet to win. It was the richest race any of his horses had won over the 25 years that he has been in the game.
Now he, too, is on the road to the Kentucky Derby, which took the sting out of not betting Win Willy on top of his exacta. He would have won $320.40.
“I still have to pay for dinner, though,” he said.Win Willy catapulted past Old Fashioned for an emphatic two-and-a-quarter-length victory in the Grade II, $300,000 Rebel Stakes, turning the Kentucky Derby picture upside down. ]]>