Willow Hour is either the ultimate horse for the Saratoga course or a colt who has finally developed into a runner after flashes of promise as a 2-year-old. In 1980 Willow Hour won the Nashua stakes, one of the most important 2-year-old races, only to be disqualified and placed last. "I was suspended for that," said Maple, "but I kept the mount. I always thought he had ability, and he has proved that in his last two races. By winning the Travers he beat the best group of 3-year-olds put together this year."
Exactly what the Travers proved is, at best, enigmatic. Obviously, 1981 is a year in which there is not one outstanding 3-year-old, but several very good ones. Which is best won't be decided until the fall stakes races—if then.