09/04/2013 3:12PM

Arlington Park: Willcox Inn looking fit after Washington Park win

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Four-Footed Fotos
Willcox Inn earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 96 for his Washington Park Handicap win.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - A robust-looking Willcox Inn bucked and played as he was inspected by his handlers outside the Arlington barn of trainer Mike Stidham on Wednesday morning, a sign that he came out of his hard-fought win Saturday in the Washington Park Handicap in good order.

That is what Stidham and his crew are seeing, and Willcox Inn, who scored an overdue first victory of 2013 in the Washington Park, is being pointed to a return trip to the Grade 1 Shadwell Mile at Keeneland in October.

Willcox Inn contested the 2012 Shadwell, finishing second while well beaten by Horse of the Year Wise Dan, and Stidham said that if Wise Dan were to show up again in the Shadwell, an alternative plan might be concocted.

“Things could change, but the Shadwell has been our main target,” he said.

Willcox Inn, racing on Polytrack for the first time since April 2011, had to work to beat a starter-allowance class horse named Gallant Eagle by a nose in the Washington Park, but the race was decently rated by the Beyer Speed Figures, with Willcox Inn’s performance generating a figure of 96.