Maker Schools Hansen in Gate at Keeneland
Date Posted: 4/13/2012 1:48:09 PM
Last Updated: 4/14/2012 9:51:07 PM

Champion Hansen, the 6-5 favorite for the April 14 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), was schooled in the gate at Keeneland on the morning of April 13 and then jogged over the Polytrack surface at the Lexington track.

Exercise rider Joe Sharp was aboard the male juvenile champion of 2011 as Hansen went through his paces.

Trainer Mike Maker said Hansen would be on the track at 6 a.m. tomorrow for light training.

In his only loss in five career starts, Hansen stumbled at the start of the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) and led throughout before finishing second. The near-white colt subsequently won the Gotham Stakes (gr. III), his only other start so far this year.

“He stumbled in the Holy Bull and in the Gotham he did not get away very well but he behaved himself,” Maker said, noting that Hansen had no problem last fall in his biggest victory, the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.

Hansen has won four of five starts for earnings of $1,473,305 and will break from post 4 under Ramon Dominguez in his final prep for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

According to Keeneland, the first-place purse in the Blue Grass of $450,000 would make Hansen the top money earner to enter the Derby in the race’s 138-year history. Hansen would have $1,923,305 to surpass Snow Chief’s mark of $1,719,040 entering the 1986 Run for the Roses.

About a half-hour after Hansen came to the track, Sharp brought Hansen's stablemate Gung Ho to the track for a 1 1/2-mile gallop.

Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Gung Ho finished seventh behind Blue Grass rival Dullahan in last fall’s Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) in his lone Keeneland start. Gung Ho, who will be ridden by three-time Blue Grass winner Edgar Prado, finished second in the Rushaway on March 24 at Turfway Park in his lone start of 2012.



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