Newly crowned juvenile champion Hansen breezed five furlongs at Gulfstream Park Jan. 22, completing the main preparation for his 3-year-old seasonal debut in the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III).
The Holy Bull, at one mile, is Jan. 29.
Hansen, a gray/roan son of Tapit out of the Sir Cat mare Stormy Sunday, was clocked in :59 4/5 while working in company with stakes-winning stablemate Lou Brissie, who was timed in 1:00 1/5. Hansen’s work was the third fastest of 39 recorded at the distance.
“It was nothing out of character,” trainer Mike Maker said. “He worked just fine.”
Front-running winner of the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs in his last start, Hansen outpolled Union Rags for the Eclipse Award in a decision announced Jan. 16. The colt is undefeated in three starts.
Maker expressed satisfaction with Hansen’s preparation for his 2012 debut in the Holy Bull, which is expected to also include Algorithms and Consortium, the first two finishers in a recent Gulfstream allowance. Fort Loudon, who swept the 2011 Florida Stallion Series, and stakes winner My Adonis are also expected to start.
“We’ve had no bumps in the road,” said Maker, who conditions Hansen for Dr. Kendall Hansen and Sky Chai Racing. “Hopefully, that trend continues”
Hansen has not been headed in his career, including back-to-back triumphs at Turfway Park by 12 ¼ and 13 ¼ lengths leading up to his game triumph by a head over previously undefeated Union Rags in the BC Juvenile. Maker said Hansen’s front-running style presents no imposing challenges in his training or racing performances.
“It’s no different than a closer, you’re dependent on the pace. You just hope no one makes him go quicker earlier than he has to,” Maker said.
Hansen, who has banked $1,153,305, is Maker’s first Eclipse champion.