Saturday’s seventh from Laurel Park, a $100,000 stake for older fillies and mares going six furlongs on the main track, is the Willa on the Move Stakes, raising an interesting question: who was Willa on the Move?
Or, more precisely, who were Willa on the Move?
Because, as it happens, Willa on the Move was the rather unusual name of two Maryland-bred fillies who recorded graded stakes victories.
The older, perhaps better known, Willa on the Move was a 1985 filly by Assert out of the stakes winning Tentam mare Willamae. She won six of 13 career starts, including the 1988 running of the G1 Ashland at Keeneland. Bred by Robert L. Quinichett, she earned more than $440,000 in a career that also included in-the-money finishes in four other grade 1 events. She ended her career with an eighth-place finish in the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Distaff, won by the great Personal Ensign.
Fourteen years later, in 1999, Robert L. Quinichett was back at it with another Willa on the Move. This one was by Two Punch out of the unraced El Gran Senor mare Willa Joe; Willa Joe’s dam was Willamae.
Willa on the Move 2.0 ultimately won six of 12 career starts — eerily similar to the record of her older namesake — and earned over $360,000. Her signature victory came in the 2003 G3 Honorable Miss at Saratoga, a race in which she bested Shine Again, among others. She also won that year’s Maryland Million Distaff (at 2-5 odds) before finishing off the board in the G2 Top Flight at Aqueduct, the final race of her career.[boxify cols_use =”4″ cols =”4″ position =”none” order =”none” box_spacing =”5″ padding =”3″ border_width =”1″ border_color =”blue” border_style =”solid” height =”60″ ]