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Breeders Cup 2015

Win Willy ready for Essex at Oaklawn

Win Willy overcame a handful of obstacles to win the $75,000 Fifth Season by a neck last month at Oaklawn Park. Saturday, some of those same variables will be working against the highweight when he leads a field of six for the $100,000 Essex Handicap.

Oaklawn was unable to open for training on Wednesday and Thursday because of a frozen racing surface, and subsequently had to cancel its Thursday and Friday cards. Leading up to the Fifth Season, four days of training were lost at the hands of Mother Nature.

“We’re in a similar situation this week, where we missed a few days of training,” trainer Mac Robertson said. “Hopefully, we get to run on Saturday. But he did fine last time with the same kind of situation, and I expect him to be fine again this time.”

Win Willy also had to overcome a controlled pace to win the Fifth Season. He got up nearing the wire in the Jan. 16 race run at the same 1 1/16-mile distance of the Essex.

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