09/18/2009 12:00AM

Indiana Derby likely next for Win Willy


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Win Willy lost his comeback race Thursday at Arlington, but his trainer, Mac Robertson, did not, and even Win Willy's defeat should serve the talented 3-year-old well.

Making his first start since the Arkansas Derby, and first since being diagnosed with an ankle injury days before he was to have run in the Kentucky Derby, Win Willy came back in an Arlington sprint allowance Thursday. He made a nice wide rally as the favorite to finish a close third in a race won by another Mac Robertson-trained horse, 9-1 King A.J.

"I was happy with the way he ran," said Robertson. "I thought he just got a little tired. I didn't have him tuned up all the way, making his first start back from an injury."

Win Willy, upset winner of the Rebel Stakes, also was making his Polytrack debut and was racing at a distance quite likely shorter than his best. But a stretch out, and a return to stakes racing, is not far off. Robertson said the two options for Win Willy's next start are the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park and the Indiana Derby on Oct. 3 at Hoosier Park, with Robertson fairly certain that Win Willy would go to Indiana.

"That's kind of a bullring, and I think he'll handle those turns," said Robertson. "It's a little quick back, but it he's doing okay in 10 days, we'll ship him over there."

Robertson, easily the leading trainer at Canterbury Park this summer, had his string at Remington in 2008, but this year will spend the fall at Hawthorne, shipping some horses to race at Keeneland and Churchill.

"I'm kind of in regroup mode," he said. "I ran a lot over the summer."

Razo unable to ride comfortably

Eddie Razo was off his mounts for a third day Friday, still very sore from going down in a one-horse spill here last Saturday.

Razo hit the ground when his mount, Da Mama, broke down on turf. Razo went to an area hospital following the spill, and no serious injuries were discovered. But Razo said he worked horses on both Wednesday and Friday and didn't feel capable of riding.

"I worked a horse out of the gate today, and past the wire I was like, 'Oh my God,' " Razo said. "I thought I felt good, but it was worse than I thought."

Razo said it hurt to breathe and that he had severe bruising under his left arm. He was scheduled to see a doctor Friday afternoon to make sure the initial examination didn't miss a more serious injury.

Castanon holds a hot hand

It took little time for the new partnership of jockey Jesus Castanon and agent Dennis Cooper to start firing. Castanon already has ridden 8 winners from 33 starters since coming to Arlington this month, and has been on a bevy of live mounts for a wide swath of trainers. After Arlington ends, Cooper and Castanon will try their hand in Kentucky.

Douglas interview on HRTV

HRTV will air an interview with injured rider Rene Douglas on Sunday evening's broadcast of the racing channel's show, "Inside Information." The program is scheduled to air at 8 p.m. Central and also will include commentary from several of Douglas's Arlington Park contemporaries.

Douglas suffered paralysis and other serious injuries in a spill here this past May. Last month, Douglas moved back to South Florida, where he has continued the rehabilitation process.