Hansen, the 2011 champion 2-year-old male and undefeated winner of the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I), and Union Rags , who won the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) and finished second to Hansen in the BC Juvenile, have received the standard high weight assignment of 126 pounds on The Jockey Club’s 2011 Experimental Free Handicap.
The filly division is headed by last year’s champion 2-year-old filly and undefeated Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner My Miss Aurelia, at 124 pounds.
All Experimental Free Handicap weight assignments, as well as past performances for those horses, are available within the Publications and Resources section of jockeyclub.com at jockeyclub.com/experimental.asp.
The Jockey Club Experimental Free Handicap, published annually since 1935, is a weight-based assessment of the previous year’s leading 2-year-olds, with the weights compiled for a hypothetical race at 1 1/16 miles on dirt.
The weighting committee of racing secretaries was once again composed of Ben Huffman of Churchill Downs and Keeneland, P.J. Campo of the New York Racing Association, and Thomas S. Robbins of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
The committee weighted a total of 130 males and 94 fillies. Eligible for weighting were all 2-year-olds of 2011 that finished among the top four in graded or listed stakes run in the continental United States. Listed stakes in 2011 were those with a value of $75,000 or more available to all starters, and no restrictions other than age or sex.
Hansen (Tapit —Stormy Sunday, by Sir Cat) won all three of his starts last year by a combined margin of about 25 1/2 lengths and earned $1,153,305. Owned by Dr. Kendall Hansen and Sky Chai Racing, Hansen won the Bluegrass Cat Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes in addition to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He was bred in Kentucky by Dr. Hansen.
Union Rags (Dixie Union—Tempo, by Gone West) won three of four starts last year by a combined 14 1/4 lengths including the Three Chimneys Saratoga Special Stakes (gr. II), and posted earnings of $858,800. He was bred in Kentucky by Phyllis M. Wyeth and is owned by Chadds Ford Stable.
In the filly division, the 124 pounds assigned to My Miss Aurelia (Smart Strike—My Miss Storm Cat, by Sea of Secrets) is one pound higher than the standard impost for top Experimental fillies.
Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, My Miss Aurelia won all four of her starts including the Frizette Stakes (gr. I) and the Adirondack Stakes (gr. II), by a combined total of 9 3/4 lengths. Owned by Stonestreet Stables and George Bolton, she earned $1,380,000 last year.
Hansen is the only one of the three to have raced this year. He finished second in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 29.
Among sires of Experimental horses, Indian Charlie leads the list of colts and geldings with four representatives; Bluegrass Cat , City Zip, Giant's Causeway , High Cotton, Kitten's Joy , Scat Daddy, Wildcat Heir, and With Distinction have three each.
Hard Spun , Kitten’s Joy, and Lion Heart head the fillies’ list with four representatives each. Scat Daddy and Songandaprayer have three each.
Combining the two lists, Kitten’s Joy is the leading sire with seven, followed by Indian Charlie, Lion Heart, and Scat Daddy with six representatives each.
Of the 224 juveniles weighted, 150 were bred in Kentucky, 33 in Florida, seven in California, and six in New York.