Hansen works April 28 at Trackside Training Center

Hansen works April 28 at Trackside Training Center

Anne M. Eberhardt

Hansen Works Easy 5 Furlongs in Company

Champion gets in final drill before May 5 Kentucky Derby.

Hansen, last year’s juvenile champion, got in his final drill for the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) the morning of April 28, getting five furlongs in 1:01 1/5 at  the Churchill Training Center while working in company with older horse Derby Kitten.

Hansen, owned by Dr. Kendall Hansen and Sky Chai Racing, traveled in splits of :12 1/5 for the opening eighth, :24 3/5 for the quarter, :36 3/5 for three-eighths, and :49 1/5 for the half-mile. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.

Looking on was trainer Mike Maker and Harvey and Sandy Diamond of Sky Chai.

“We’re trying to harness his speed, so we put a workmate with him from the starting part of the work because sometimes he seems to be pretty aggressive,” Maker said about the son of Tapit . “We weren’t looking to do a whole lot today. The plan was to get Hansen go a soft first three-eighths, which is what he did, and finish up in the final quarter, which is what he did. We weren’t doing a lot, but we wanted him to get something out of it.”

Derby Kitten was in a light gallop while ahead of Hansen early, and then the two horses hooked up on the bend and worked on even terms from there. Hansen was asked to go between Derby Kitten and the rail.

Derby Kitten, a 4-year-old son of Kitten's Joy , won the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. III) and Ontario Derby last year.

Hansen has four wins and two seconds from six career starts and is the leading Derby candidate by graded stakes earnings. At 2 he won all three starts culminating with a victory in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) that helped him garner the Eclipse Award as the top 2-year-old male. This year he ran second to Algorithms  in the Jan. 29 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) after a slight stumble at the start, then won the Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct. He tuned-up for the Derby in Keeneland’s Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) where he finished second to Dullahan April 14.

''Anything can happen at any point, other than the slight mishap in the Holy Bull, it's been smooth sailing since he came to our farm and hopefully it can be that way another seven days,'' Maker said.

A son of Tapit , Hansen is out of the Sir Cat mare Stormy Sunday.

Hansen will walk Maker’s shedrow Sunday, then jog Monday. He is scheduled to gallop Tuesday and school in the gate and paddock. He’ll ship to Churchill Downs on Wednesday, May 2.