Hansen, the 2011 champion 2-year-old male who is one of the favorites for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), settled in at Churchill Downs in late morning May 2.
Owned by his breeder, Dr. Kendall Hansen and Skychai Stable (pronounced sky-high), Hansen is stabled at trainer Mike Maker's base at Churchill Downs’ Trackside Training Center, located nearby in Louisville, Ky. The nearly all-white colt made the short trip to Churchill and was bedded down in Barn 42 to comply with a requirement that all Derby starters be on the grounds by noon May 2, three days before the May 5 classic.
Dr. Harvey Diamond, the managing partner of Skychai Stable, and Jim Shircliff, another partner in the colt, said there could be a surprise in store for racing fans at Churchill on Derby Day. They noted that Dr. Hansen does not let them know what is in store until right before race day.
New York regulators turned down Dr. Hansen’s request to have the colt’s tail dyed blue prior to his victory in the Gotham Stakes (gr. II) and had to squash a similar plan prior to a second-place finish in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) when the scheme was brought to the attention of regulators. Nonetheless, Dr. Hansen created a stir by having the horse accompanied by several women in white attire adorned with blue tails.
In addition to the Gotham, Hansen has won the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill last fall and took the Kentucky Cup Juvenile at Turfway Park. He also ran second in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III).