09/06/2012 1:48PM

Delaware Park: Carl Hanford draws Win Willy, Eldaafer

Email
Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography
Win Willy, with Cliff Berry riding, wins the 2011 Oaklawn Handicap.

A small but distinguished cast of older horses will race 1 3/16 miles in Saturday’s $50,000 Carl Hanford Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park.

Just five runners are entered, but the group includes Win Willy, winner of the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap in 2011; Eldaafer, champion of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Marathon; and Not Abroad, the runner-up by a half-length in the Grade 3 Greenwood Cup, a Win and You’re In event for this fall’s BC Marathon.

The 6-year-old Win Willy shows the best recent form. He has won 2 of his last 3 starts, including the 1 1/16-mile Cape Henlopen, and is 3 or 5 lifetime at Delaware. His lone subpar performance since shipping north from Oaklawn Park came when he was a distant fourth in the Greenwood Cup.

Not Abroad has finished ahead of Win Willy twice this season, beating him by a half-length in the Jim French in mid-May and finishing 5 1/2 lengths in front of Win Willy in the Greenwood Cup. He ran evenly to finish third last time out in the $175,000 Mountainview Handicap at Penn National on July 28.

Eldaafer takes a distinct class drop after three consecutive starts this summer against graded stakes company. He was second, although 10 lengths behind the winner, in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap, followed by off-the-board performances in the Grade 1 United Nations on turf and in the Grade 3 Iselin last time out. He ran well in both his starts at Delaware last season, winning an allowance and finishing second in the Governor’s Day.

The field is completed by Special Energy, whose only win in 10 starts came against $10,000 maiden claimers in late May, and Forgotten Knot, an uncoupled stablemate of Win Willy who is stepping up after a win against second-level optional $40,000 claimers.