Hoping for more quickness and a confidence boost, trainer Mac
Robertson has been working Jer-Mar Stable's Win Willy in blinkers
including his last major breeze Sunday morning ahead of Saturday's
$350,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2), the start of Oaklawn Park's six-day
Racing Festival of the South.
The 5-year-old son of Monarchos started the year winning the Fifth
Season Stakes in January, but because of difficult pace scenarios the
confirmed closer came up short in the Essex Handicap and the Razorback
Handicap (G3). The 1 1/8th-mile distance is one thing that Robertson
feels will help Win Willy, but the blinkers should play an important
role strategically as the race unfolds.
"Hopefully the blinkers will make him a little quicker," he said Sunday
morning after Win Willy went a half-mile in 48 3/5 seconds. "He works
quicker in the blinkers, but I'm not trying to change his style. I just
want him to start passing horses a little sooner. If he can start
getting by one horse, and then another, and another, he's like a human,
he's going to start to swell up and get some confidence."