Lenny Shulman talks with trainer Mike Maker about Hansen, 2-year-old Juvenile champion, and one of the Kentucky Derby favorites. Sponsored by Three Chimneys Farm. Watch Video
Trainer and Mike Maker and Thoroughbred owner Harvey Diamond have been down the Derby trail together...but this time they mean it.
Last year's juvenile champion gets in his final drill for the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at the Churchill Training Center, working in company with Derby Kitten.
Tracy Farmer's La Gran Bailadora, fifth in last year's Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare Stakes (gr. III) after a slow start, will give it another try April 20 in the 1 1/16-mile stakes for fillies and mares at Keeneland.
Evan recaps the Arkansas Derby and Blue Grass Stakes. watch video
Following their efforts in the Toyota Blue Grass, winner Dullahan returned to Churchill Downs and Hansen and Gung Ho, who ran second and third, returned to trainer Mike Maker's barn at Trackside Training Center.
The co-owner of top 3-year-old colt Hansen said he was willing to go ahead and race his horse in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) with the colt's tail dyed blue in defiance of regulators and incur a fine.
Lonesome Street and jockey Joel Rosario took advantage of a hotly contested early pace to rally from last to first for a decisive victory in the $175,000 Commonwealth Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland April 14.
Mike Maker talks about the prospects of his Blue Grass Stakes horses Hansen and Gung Ho. Watch Video
Hansen, the 2011 champion 2-year-old male and one of the favorites for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), breezed five furlongs in 1:00 at Churchill Downs' Trackside training center April 7.
All-sources pari-mutuel handle on Turfway Park races during its winter/spring meet dropped 11.2%, while ontrack handle on live racing was down 16.5%, track officials said April 2.
Reigning American 2-year-old champion Hansen tuned up for a planned run in the upcoming Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) with a strong five-furlong work in :59 4/5 March 31 at the Churchill Downs Trackside training center.
Hansen breezed an easy half-mile at Churchill Downs' Trackside Training Center March 18, the first work for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender since his return to Kentucky.
Gotham Stakes (gr. III) winner Hansen wrapped up his week at Turfway Park with a paddock appearance the evening of March 9, but his majority owner reaffirmed that the colt will run next in New York, not Kentucky.
Eclipse Award champion and recent Gotham (gr. III) winner Hansen will school in the paddock at Turfway Park March 9 between the sixth and seventh races,
The champion son of Tapit relaxed in the early going before using his brilliant speed en route to a convincing three-length victory in the $400,000 Gotham (gr. III) March 3 at Aqueduct.
Mr. Prankster will try for a sweep of the preps leading up to the $500,000 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (gr. III) when he faces off against five fellow 3-year-olds in the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes on March 3.
Juvenile champion Hansen, attempting to rebound from his first loss in last month's Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III), is scheduled to make his next start in the $400,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct March 3.
Mr. Prankster emphatically answered the two-turn question Feb. 4, closing strongly and drawing off to win the one-mile WEBN Stakes at Turfway Park by 7 1/2 lengths.
Making his stakes debut in the $200,000 John B. Connally Turf Cup, favored Papaw Bodie surged to the lead in upper stretch to post a convincing win at Sam Houston Race Park on the night of Jan. 28.
All eyes will be on juvenile champion Hansen Jan. 29 as he begins his much-anticipated Triple Crown quest in the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park.
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).
A gritty win in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs put Hansen squarely in the mix for an Eclipse Award and on Jan. 16 he was honored as champion 2-year-old male.
Favored Mr. Prankster, making his first start in six weeks, came from off the pace to win the $50,000 Turfway Prevue Stakes at Turfway Park on the night of Jan. 7.
Turfway Park ended its 2011 holiday meet with increases in both on-track and all-sources handle compared to the same period in 2010.
Trainer Mike Maker has half the field in this year's $150,000 Claiming Crown Jewel, the featured event of five stakes to be held for the first time Dec. 3 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in Louisiana.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Julien Leparoux, and Steve Asmussen and Mike Maker were the leaders during the Churchill Downs fall meet, which ended Nov. 27.
Hansen, a local horse coming off of pair of dominating wins at Turfway Park, desperately held off heavy favorite Union Rags to win a thriller in the $2 million Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) Nov. 5 at Churchill.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Gung Ho, a 20-1 shot in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT), was scratched out of the race Nov. 3, opening a position in the starting gate that will now be filled by Tequila Factor.
Dr. Kendall Hansen believes his 2-year-old colt, the undefeated Hansen, is heading into the Nov. 5 Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile in excellent shape, but he's trying not to be overconfident.
Third at mid-stretch, former claimer Headache closed steadily to edge Where's Sterling by a half-length in the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) in Illinois Oct. 8.
Turfway Park reported a slight increase in ontrack handle and a decline in all-sources wagering during the 16-day fall meet highlighted by the WinStar Kentucky Cup Day.
William and Graydon Patterson's Juanita, claimed for $25,000 in March, made her first stakes victory count when she led the whole way to take the $200,000 Indiana Oaks (gr. II) at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino Oct. 1.
Cape Blanco and Teaks North, both two-time grade I winners on turf this year, headline a star-studded six-horse field for the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT).
Champions have gotten their start at Turfway Park over the years. And though the return of the WinStar Kentucky Cup Day of Champions generated a buzz, a performance on the racetrack Sept. 24 generated a bigger buzz.
Derby Kitten, under jockey Mike Smith, came from off the pace to nab Hippolytus by a half-length in the $154,029 Ontario Derby Sept. 24 at Woodbine.
La Gran Bailadora came from far off the pace on the final turn to capture the $100,000 Distorted Humor Kentucky Cup Distaff (gr. III) Sept. 24, giving trainer Mike Maker three consecutive stakes wins on the Turfway Park card.
In a span just over a half-hour, trainer Mike Maker and jockey Victor Lebron teamed up to win a pair of Kentucky Cup races with flare.
Headache left favored Awesome Gem behind at the eighth pole and rolled to his first graded stakes win in the $300,000 Cornhusker Handicap (gr. III) at Prairie Meadows on the night of June 25.
Two-time defending winner Mike Maker is joined by first-timers Corey Lanerie and the Louisville-based family of Billy, Donna and Justin Hays as recipients of Kentucky Thoroughbred Media Awards.
Derby Kitten capped a big day for Ken and Sarah Ramsey, as the homebred 3-year-old got up in the late stages to win the $200,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. III) April 23 on a stormy day at Keeneland.
Twinspired, impressive winner of Turfway Park's WEBN Stakes one month ago, returns in the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes the night of March 5 against a field that includes California Derby victor Positive Response.
Twinspired proved a deserving favorite when he captured the $50,000 WEBN Stakes at Turfway Park by 4 1/4 lengths on the night of Feb. 5.
Florida invader Stately Victor returns to the lawn for the first time since last summer when he takes on eight rivals in the $200,000 John B. Connally Turf Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Sam Houston Race Park Jan. 29.
Maybesomaybenot, who won the Sanford (gr. II) this summer before tailing off in his last two, will carry top weight of 123 pounds in the $100,000 Iroquois Stakes (gr. II) on opening day of the Churchill Downs fall meet.
Dean's Kitten, owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, has been installed as the lukewarm 7-2 morning line favorite in the $150,000 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT). Eight 3-year-olds were entered in the 1 1/8-mile turf event.
Carolyn and Karen Scisney's homebred Maybesomaybenot, winner of the Sanford (gr. II), headlines a field of 11 in the $400,000 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) for 2-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the Polytrack.
Stately Victor, who took the Bluegrass Stakes (gr. I) in April before off-the-board finishes in the three off-the-board finishes, returned to the winner's circle in the Ontario Derby at Woodbine Sept. 25.
Unlike 2009, when purses and live racing days were cut, Ellis Park reported solid numbers for its 27-day meet that ended Sept. 6.
Overlooked Maybesomaybenot took the lead from the inside post for jockey Julien Leparoux and never looked back, springing a 9-1 surprise in the $150,000 Sanford Stakes (gr. II) by 1 1/2 lengths July 25 at Saratoga.
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