Friday, April 10, 2009

Old Fashioned, Win Willy side by side

By Mary Rampellini
Daily Racing Form

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - The rematch is on.

Win Willy and Old Fashioned will break side by side on Saturday at Oaklawn Park when they meet in the 73rd running of the Grade 2, $1 million Arkansas Derby. The pair finished one-two last month at Oaklawn Park in the Grade 2 Rebel, with Win Willy upsetting Old Fashioned by 2 1/4 lengths at 56-1.

Post positions for the 1 1/8-mile race were drawn on Wednesday, with Old Fashioned getting gate 8 in the field of 10, and Win Willy set to break right beside him, in post 9.

"I think nine's okay; it was okay last time," joked Mac Robertson, who trains Win Willy.

Win Willy broke from post 9 before launching a determined stretch run to catch Old Fashioned in the late stages of Rebel. It was the first career defeat for Old Fashioned, the divisional leader at the time who on Wednesday was installed the 9-5 morning-line favorite for the Arkansas Derby. Win Willy was made the second choice, at 7-2.

Old Fashioned's draw was acceptable to both Larry Jones, who trains the horse for Rick Porter, and Terry Thompson, who will be taking over in the saddle for Ramon Dominguez.

"We're happy," Thompson said of the post. "We didn't draw the one. We didn't draw the 10. The two outside of us don't have speed, and the other speed horse looks like it's [Papa Clem], so I can keep him down inside and keep an eye on him.

"The gates here at Oaklawn will be way at the top of the stretch, so I'll have plenty of time to get position before I hit the first turn."

Papa Clem, the runner-up to leading Kentucky Derby hopeful Friesan Fire in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby in his last start March 14, figures to be prominent under Rafael Bejarano. Ziegfeld, who will add blinkers, could also show more speed than he did last time, when he rallied for second in the $100,000 Rushaway at Turfway Park on March 21. He will break from post 5 under Jon Court.

The forecast for Saturday is for mostly sunny skies with a high of 69 degrees, according to weather.com. The Arkansas Derby will go as the 11th race on a 12-race card, with a scheduled post of 5:41 p.m. Central. There is a special noon first post Saturday, the final card of the Oaklawn meet.

The Arkansas Derby will be broadcast on ESPN2.

Arkansas Derby field

(PP, Horse, Jockey, Morning line)

1. Captain Cherokee, A. Gryder, 20-1

2. Papa Clem, R. Bejarano, 6-1

3. Flat Out, J. Garcia, 10-1

4. Poltergeist, Q. Hamilton, 20-1

5. Ziegfeld, Jon Court, 12-1

6. Flying Private, I. Ocampo, 6-1

7. Summer Bird, C. Rosier, 30-1

8. Old Fashioned, T. Thompson, 9-5

9. Win Willy, C. Berry, 7-2

10. Danger to Society, C. Velasquez, 6-1

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