Hansen, ninth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 5, began his second season in the Iowa Derby, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-olds that attracted only five starters. Hansen, sent off at 1-10 odds, may have chased away some competition.
"He felt great," said winning rider Ramon Dominguez, who flew to Iowa after riding at Belmont Park earlier in the day to be aboard Hansen for the sixth straight time. "He was always happy and wanting to go. Sometimes you think he's going too fast, but he's able to carry his speed."
Hansen broke from the rail and immediately took the lead over Alsvid, who stalked him in second through the final turn. The fractions were :24.06, :47.51, 1:11.02, and 1:35.56 for one mile on a fast track. The final time was 1:42.01.
Hansen turned the Derby into a one-horse race when he accelerated on the final turn. He won easily over Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Hero of Order. Macho Bull was third, Truetap fourth, and Alsvid faltered to finish fifth.
Hansen, who paid $2.20, won for the fifth time in his career. Bred by Kendall Hansen in Kentucky, the colt is by Tapit out of the Sir Cat mare Stormy Sunday.
When asked about Hansen's effort, trainer Mike Maker said: "I wish they were all that easy. He settled nicely and did what we wanted him to do."
Maker said the Aug. 4 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) is next on Hansen's agenda. Kendall Hansen said if all goes well in that race, the grade I Travers Stakes at 1 1/4 miles in late August would be next.
"I hope he runs like this in West Virginia," the owner said. "I'm glad we came here. I think we'll come back next year for the (grade III) Cornhusker Handicap."