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Hansen Headed for Aqueduct's Gotham Next

Juvenile champion will attempt to rebound from defeat in last month's Holy Bull.

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.

Dr. Harvey Diamond, founder and racing manager of Skychai Racing, part-owner of Hansen along with Dr. Kendall Hansen, the colt's breeder, said Feb. 11 that the 1 1/16-mile inner track test works out perfectly for the gray/roan son of Tapit .

“We felt that the Gotham was a good spot and the timing was excellent,” Diamond said of the Mike Maker-trained colt. “We would love to take a shot at the Big Apple.”

After an undefeated 3-for-3 campaign last year that culminated with a narrow victory over Union Rags  in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, Hansen’s lost his 2012 debut at Gulfstream Park as a heavy favorite.

Hansen stumbled at the start of Jan. 29 race, rushed up to take the lead through an opening-half mile in :45.67, and was not able to fend off Algorithms  in the stretch, finishing second by four lengths.

“We would like to get a better start in the Gotham,” Diamond said.  “We don’t want to make excuses, but when you think about it he probably ran the first quarter a second faster than what the timer showed. He ran two really fast quarters and that affected him in the latter stages.

"We are not taking anything away from Algorithms," he added. "He is a super horse and was better that day than Hansen. We just hope that on Gotham Day he will settle himself in the gate and show the Hansen that we all know he is.”

After the Gotham, Diamond said there are a number of possible options, including the $1,000,000 Resorts World New York City Casino Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct April 7 and the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (gr. III) at Turfway Park March 24.