The $400,000 Gotham (gr. III) at Aqueduct March 3 will likely feature more than a dozen 3-year-olds, headed by 2011 juvenile champion Hansen.
Among those probable to face the winner of the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) are Consortium, seventh in the Holy Bull (gr. III); Dan and Sheila, fourth in the LeComte (gr. III); Done Talking, fourth in the Remsen (gr. II) last fall; Jimmy Winkfield winner King and Crusader; My Adonis, third in the Holy Bull, and Tiger Walk, third in the Withers (gr. III) on Feb. 4.
Co-owner Dr. Kendall Hansen said Hansen will fly to New York Feb. 29 after turning in his final breeze at Gulfstream Park, possibly on Feb. 27.
“His last breeze (Feb. 19) was strong,” said Hansen, who owns the colt in partnership with Dr. Harvey Diamond’s Sky Chai Racing. “He actually ran another furlong, and we were pleased with that. It was actually a six-furlong work. He was running 12-second furlongs, and that’s his cruising speed. Since he put up a bullet last week, his next breeze will probably be slower.”
Hansen finished second, beaten five lengths by Algorithms , in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) after stumbling at the break. The Gotham will be his second start of 2012.
“We had some bad luck last time, and people probably think we’re beatable,” said Hansen. “We were about 75% last time and were hoping for an easy spot, but we ran into a top horse in Algorithms. He is doing well right now. We’re at about 85 or 90%. Obviously, we want to peak in May.”
Hansen added that trainer Mike Maker has been working on getting the son of Tapit to settle in his workouts and that the 1 1/16-mile Gotham will test the colt’s ability to race in traffic.
“It’d be nice to see a few horses come to his side early, and then have him lead by about three or four lengths at the quarter pole,” he said.
Also probable for the Gotham are Chief Energy, making his first start since August; the Graham Motion-trained Cop A Tude, making his stakes debut after a pair of victories at Laurel Park; Maan, who came off a seven-month layoff to score a hard-fought optional claiming victory at Gulfstream Feb. 9; the New York-bred Pretension, winner of an overnight stakes last time out; Raconteur, winner of his two most recent starts; and recent maiden breaker Stealcase.