01/11/2012 5:18PM

Oaklawn Park: Win Willy seeks another Oaklawn Handicap

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Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography
Win Willy will be seeking a repeat victory in the Oaklawn Handicap.

Win Willy will not be defending his title here Friday in the $75,000 Fifth Season, but he is penciled in for another appearance in the Oaklawn Handicap. He won the race impressively a year ago, when he closed from last to defeat Misremembered by a length and earn a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 107. Win Willy has not raced since, but is back in training at Oaklawn, where he is 5 for 11.

“We gave him a long rest by design, hopefully to make the full year and be able to race into the fall and winter then stand stud somewhere,” said Mac Robertson, who trains Win Willy for Jer-Mar Stable.

Robertson said the two goals this year for Win Willy, a 6-year-old by Monarchos, are the Oaklawn Handicap and to win a Grade 1. His first start of the year is to be determined as Win Willy had a minor physical setback when he returned to training this past fall at Delaware Park.

“He worked a couple of times at Delaware and popped a splint there,” Robertson said. “He’s here, training a little, not doing anything serious. We hope to start working him again in a couple of weeks.”

A popped splint refers to an inflamed splint bone. Splint bones are located below the knee. Popping a splint is a common ailment for horses in training.

“We cooled it out, are painting it,” Robertson said of treatments that can include water therapy and poultice.

Robertson has 40 horses at Oaklawn for the new meet, including a pair of stakes-quality females in Sarah’s Song and Bryan’s Jewel, one of which he would like to see develop into a candidate for the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom on April 13. Both horses race for Barry and Joni Butzow. Bryan’s Jewel is a candidate for the Pippin, Robertson said.