Racing News

Derby 138 Hope Hansen Sharp in Trackside Work

| Churchill Downs | 03/31/2012 #
  • Hansen worked a sharp five furlongs at Trackside training center under Joel Barrientos.

  • Hansen returned to trainer Mike Maker's barn following Saturday's work.

  • Champion Hansen again earned some play time in the Trackside sand pen following his work.

Reigning American 2-year-old champion Hansen tuned up for a planned run in Keeneland’s Toyota Blue Grass (Grade I) on April 14 with a strong five-furlong work in :59.80 on Saturday at Churchill DownsTrackside training center.

The Toyota Blue Grass will be the colt’s final prep for the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 5.

Dr. Kendall Hansen and Sky Chai Racing’s 3-year-old son of Tapit had Joel Barrientos in the saddle as he zipped over the “fast” six-furlong training surface in fractional times of :12.20, :23.80, :35.80 and :47.40 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.60.

Hansen had turned in a couple of relatively easy works since he returned to trainer Mike Maker’s base at Trackside after spending most of the winter in Florida, but his trainer was looking for something more in Saturday’s move.

"We let him pick it up a little bit,” Maker said.  “He’s doing good.  He is not stressed at all.  It was a pretty solid work and he had a nice gallop-out.”

Hansen’s move was the second-fastest of 10 Trackside works at the distance.  His Maker-trained stablemate Lotta Lovin, a 3-year-old filly owned by William J. Butler, fired the “bullet” work at the distance at :59.20.

Hansen scored an emphatic three-length victory in his most recent start on March 3 in the 1 1/16-mile Gotham Stakes (GIII) at Aqueduct.  He has a career record of 4-1-0 in five races and earnings of $1,473,305.  His only setback was a runner-up finish to Algorithms in the Holy Bull (GIII) at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 29.

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