Hansen Returns in Iowa Derby
Hansen, last year's champion 2-year-old male, will make his first start since a mid-pack finish in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) June 30 in Prairie Meadows' Iowa Derby (gr. III). The $250,000 Iowa Derby, part of a stakes-packed weekend at the track just outside Des Moines, will go off at approximately 9:39 CDT.
The Iowa Derby, which will be followed by the $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (gr. III), will be shown live on TVG.
Hansen, a homebred son of Tapit —Stormy Sunday, by Sir Cat, for Dr. Kendall Hansen, is trained by Mike Maker.
"It looks like a good, competitive spot to come back in," Maker said. "I would have preferred a better post, but he's handled everything we've thrown at him so far."
Hansen won last year's Eclipse Award based on two runaway wins over Polytrack at Turfway Park and a victory in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I). This year he's 1-2-0 in four starts. He ran second to Algorithms in the Gulfstream slop Jan. 29 in the one-mile Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III), then bounced back with a three-length tour de force in Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes (gr. III). He prepped for the Kentucky Derby with a second-place finish behind Dullahan in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.
In the Run for the Roses Hansen was up on the hot pace set by Bodemeister while in between horses early and still had good position at the top of the stretch before fading in the lane. He finished ninth, beaten 10 1/4 lengths, behind I'll Have Another .
Maker has had success in Iowa with shippers, taking last year's Cornhusker with Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Headache, who will be sent out after a repeat try later on the June 30 card.
In handicapping the field, Maker noted the local runner, James Rogers' Black Hawk Stable's Alsvid, as the main danger.
A son of Officer out of the Afternoon Deelites mare Reagle Mary, Alsvid is two-for-two over the Prairie Meadows main track, taking the April 21 Golden Circle Stakes at six furlongs, then stretching out to win the one-mile Prairie Mile Stakes June 2. Chris Hartman trains the freewheeling front-runner.
Truetap is trained by Steve Asmussen, who won the Iowa Derby in 2006 with More Than Regal and in 2002 with Easyfromthegitgo.
Rounding out the field is a pair of 3-year-olds from trainer Gennadi Dorochenko: Hero of Order and Macho Bull.
The Iowa Derby is missing a colt from trainer Bob Baffert. The Hall of Fame trainer has won the Iowa Derby three times: the 2000 renewal with Captain Steve, and the last pair with Concord Point and Prayer for Relief.
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