12/06/2013 5:56PM

Aqueduct: Willet returns on short rest to take Touch of Love

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
The 5-year-old Willet, ridden by Angel Arroyo, scores in the Touch of Love Stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Willet rebounded from her fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Go for Wand Handicap one week ago at Aqueduct with a dominant 5 1/4-length victory in Friday’s $100,000 Touch of Love Stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares, which may have been the final race of her career.

Racing four-wide down the backstretch and around the turn under Angel Arroyo, Willet took over from Harbor Mist at the three-sixteenths pole and splashed home an easy winner over a muddy main track. For the fifth straight race, Miss Valentine finished behind Willet, this time finishing second by a length over Harbor Mist.

Willet, a 5-year-old daughter of Jump Start, won for the seventh time in 15 career starts. She also has 5 seconds and 1 third and has now earned $494,900. She is a four-time stakes winner.

Jimmy Iselin, the trainer and part-owner of Willet, said this could be Willet’s last race and that one possibility is she could be bred to the Ireland-based stallion Declaration of War.

“We were offered that,” Iselin said. “She’s a part of our family, we’d love to keep her close to home, but she’s a wonderful horse, she really is.”

Iselin said one of the reasons he felt Willet ran a sub-par race in the Go for Wand is that he gave her too much Lasix. On Friday, he cut back on the amount of Lasix he gave her and “she really showed what she can do.”

Willet covered the 7 1/2 furlongs in 1:32.12 and returned $3 as the favorite.

With her second-place finish, Miss Valentine ends her career with 9 wins, 7 seconds, and 3 thirds from 26 starts and earnings of $602,500. Miss Valentine, an eight-time stakes winner, is owned by her breeder, Waterville Lake Stable, and trained by Christophe Clement.


ratakabundai . More than 1 year ago
Much the best and I congratulate the connections...it is good to see a small stable do well...that said...I tried to beat her with Harbor Mist...would have had a shot perhaps if Erin Enchanted had not gone against her form to battle on the lead...I would like to know what Schosberg and Maragh were thinking...yes...you prevented Harbor Mist from getting an easy lead and a chance to steal the race...you also gave your own horse no chance at all to finish in the money and instead ended up dead last...what was the point of that? Oh well...I'll never know...next race...