Champion Hansen, grade I winner Union Rags , and El Padrino head the list of 3-year-olds nominated to the 88th running of the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland April 14. Keeneland’s 2012 spring race meeting will be held April 6-27.
Dr. Kendall Hansen and Sky Chai Racing’s Hansen and Chadds Ford Stable’s Union Rags were the respective first two finishers in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and shared high weight of 126 pounds on the 2011 Experimental Free Handicap.
Each colt has made one start at 3, with Hansen finishing second in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) in late January and Union Rags winning the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (gr. II) Feb. 26.
El Padrino, who races in the colors of Kevin Scatuorchio and Bryan Sullivan’s Let’s Go Stable, advanced on the Triple Crown trail with a win in the Feb. 25 Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) at Fair Grounds.
Todd Pletcher, a two-time winner of the Toyota Blue Grass with Bandini (2005) and Monba (2008), leads all trainers with 13 nominees, among them El Padrino, Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) winner Gemologist , and Discreet Dancer, third in the Fountain of Youth. Trainers Bob Baffert and Dale Romans are represented by 11 nominees each.