Racing News

Hansen rerouted to Blue Grass

  • Hansen (NYRA/Adam Coglianese)

The 88th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes, scheduled for April 14, received a major boost in horsepower Thursday when it was announced that 2011 Eclipse Award-winning juvenile champion Hansen would use the race as his final prep for the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby.

Owned by Dr. Kendall E. Hansen and Sky Chai Racing, Hansen is trained by Mike Maker, who won this race in 2010 with Stately Victor. Maker came within a nose of winning last year's Blue Grass with Twinspired, who also was co-owned by Sky Chai Racing.

The most recent Juvenile champion to race in the Blue Grass Stakes was Street Sense, who finished second in the 2007 renewal before going on to win the Kentucky Derby.

"There are several reasons why we elected to run Hansen in the Toyota Blue Grass," said Dr. Hansen, who also bred the colt. "Foremost is that the horse will have to travel less and we think that is safer for him.

"If we win, Hansen will have Grade 1 victories on both all-weather and dirt surfaces. It also allows us to stay home and in familiar surroundings. And, very importantly, since a majority of his fan base is in Kentucky, it gives them a chance to see him run."

Hansen was undefeated in 2011, capping off a three-for-three campaign (including two wins on Polytrack at Turfway Park) with a victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs. Hansen finished second in his 2012 debut in the Grade 3 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park in January and, in his most recent start, won the Grade 3 Gotham at Aqueduct on March 3.

"We're extremely pleased to have the two-year-old champion from last year in the Toyota Blue Grass," Vice President of Racing Rogers Beasley said.

Dr. Hansen said that regular rider Ramon Dominguez, who is currently recovering from a separated collarbone, will have the mount in the Blue Grass.

In total,180 three-year-olds were nominated to the Blue Grass. The post position draw will be held April 11 at 11:30 a.m. (EDT).

California Chrome Cruises to Victory in 140th Kentucky Derby before Crowd of 164,906

Steven Coburn and Perry Martin's favored California Chrome, ridden by Victor Espinoza, took command at the head of the stretch en route to a 1 3/4-length victory over Commanding Curve to win the 140th running of the $2,202,800 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I). A sun-splashed crowd of 164,906, the second-largest attendance in Kentucky Derby history, watched California Chrome give jockey Victor Espinoza a second Derby victory to go with his triumph on War Emblem in 2002.

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Derby Week Concludes with Memorable Kentucky Derby 140 as California Chrome Wins America’s Greatest Race

164,906 fans pack historic Churchill Downs

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Lindsay & Els Chicago, IL

First time at the Oaks so that's why we have these crazy hats on, shaped like cheese hats and painted pink in honor of Bright Pink, which is a great charity.
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Kentucky Derby 140 presented by Yum! - The Race

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California Chrome is attempting to become only the fourth California-bred, Kentucky Derby winner in history and the first since Decidedly in 1962.