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Bargain Irish-bred strikes in Kilroe Mile

Saturday: Santa Anita

Frank E. Kilroe Mile (Grade 1), 1m, turf, 4yo+

WILLYCONKER (5 g Pyrus - Arme Fatale by Trempolino)

Bred by Islanmore Stud in Ireland

IRISH-bred Willyconker, who was purchased for just €1,000 by Susan Leehy at the 2008 Goresbridge Yearling Sale, pulled an upset victory in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita on Saturday, defeating old foe Mr Commonsby a neck.

The pair last met over course and distance in the Grade 2 Arcadia Stakes, in which Mr Commons (by Artie Schiller) prevailed by a length.


In victory, the Doug O'Nell-trained Willyconker becomes the first winner at the top level by Pyrus, a son of Mr Prospector who spent four seasons at Ballyhane Stud before switching to DeheseDe Milagro in Spain in 2010. Pyrus, who was awarded the 2000 Richmond Stakes upon the disqualification of Endless Summer, is the sire of nine stakes winners including Hollywood Grade 3 winner Oil Man and Chris Wall's talented filly Pyrrha.

Willyconker is the final named foal and the best of three winners out of French winner Arme Fatale. She is a half-sister to four winners including Villafranca, the dam of Listed winner Villa Sciarra. Another half-sister produced Californian Listed winner Wixoe Express.

Willyconker started his career for Augustine Leahy, who trained him to win a pair of Dundalk nurseries in the colours of the Irish Equine Syndicate. He was sold following his juvenile campaign to race in the US.




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