11/25/2009 12:00AM

Shadowbdancing looking toward Zia for next start

Barbara D. Livingston
Win Willy, winner of the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes, will be shipping back to Oaklawn Park next week, trainer Mac Robertson said.

STICKNEY, Ill. - It's that time of year again. The time of year when Shadowbdancing is ready to race, needs to race, and has no suitable spot in the region where he can race. Trainer Terrel Gore will do what he has to do, even if it means shipping some 1,300 miles.

"I think I'm headed to Zia Park with him," Gore said. "I'll drive him down myself."

Gore said he plans to hit the road several days before the $200,000 Zia Park Distance Championship on Dec. 6. And if Shadowbdancing ships all right, he should fit well enough in the race. He failed to see out the 1 1/4 miles of the Oct. 3 Hawthorne Gold Cup, his most recent start, but won stakes at Hawthorne, Prairie Meadows, and Mountaineer Park earlier in the year. Shadowbdancing's best 2009 performance might have been a loss, his second-place finish in the Grade 2 Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows.

Gore found himself stuck with no place to start Shadowbdancing last fall and winter, too, eventually shipping to Remington Park for a race in mid-December. Shadowbdancing ran below form that day, finishing sixth. Hopefully, Gore's long journey this year will wind up being more rewarding.

Win Willy heading back to Oaklawn

Grade 2 Rebel Stakes winner Win Willy worked a half-mile in 49.40 seconds on Monday at Hawthorne, but trainer Mac Robertson has no plans to start Win Willy again in 2009.

"He's going to Oaklawn next week," Robertson said. "He's doing fine, but I'm not going to run him anywhere right now."

Win Willy was intended for the Kentucky Derby but injured an ankle the week of the race. He returned to the races Sept. 17 at Arlington, finishing a close, closing third in a Polytrack sprint, before shipping to Hoosier Park for the Oct. 3 Indiana Derby. There, Win Willy finished an even fifth of nine as the 5-2 favorite, and Robertson said Win Willy had emerged from the race somewhat ill.

"He kind of hung his head after the race, ran a temp for a few days," Robertson said. "He had a little virus that went through him. He probably was coming down with something when he ran."

Win Willy still has allowance conditions, and Roberson said he intends to bring Win Willy back in an allowance race.

"I know he likes the track at Hot Springs, but I don't know if I'll run him short or long," Robertson said.

Shrewd Operator blazes in victory

The Illinois-bred sprinter Shrewd Operator needs things to go his way during a race. They went his way in a Nov. 20 Hawthorne allowance, and Shrewd Operator made the most of the circumstances, winning by almost five lengths while turning in the fastest six-furlong time of the meeting, 1:08.95.

Shrewd Operator earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 97 for the win, which came over a quick-playing surface that seemed to carry speed in many of the day's races. The victory also marked Shrewd Operator's first on dirt, after he had won four synthetic-track races. Shrewd Operator, who didn't race for more than a year while he recovered from a leg injury, was given a 104 Beyer for a second-level sprint allowance victory three races ago at Arlington Park. He was the odds-on favorite to win the Lightning Jet Handicap here Oct. 31, but he missed the break and never got involved.

"He's still a three-other-than," trainer Chris Block said, referring to Shrewd Operator's allowance-race eligibility. "We'll keep him up here for a while, and then decide whether to go to Tampa with him or give him some time off."

Razo still recovering from injury

Jockey Eddie Razo remains out of action as he recovers from a groin injury sustained Nov. 7 at Hawthorne. Razo was hurt when his mount in the final race that day hurdled a fallen foe, throwing Razo to the dirt. Razo has not ridden since and told his agent, Lindy McDaniel, that he was still quite sore this week.

"When he came off, he kind of did the splits," McDaniel said of Razo's spill.

"He's wanting to ride," McDaniel said. "We'll see how he does this week and then possibly come back and ride the last month of the meet here."