Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Hansen will attempt to bounce back from the first loss of his career when he takes on twelve rivals in Saturday's G3-Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct. (Post time: 5:02pm Easter; TV: TVG & HRTV) The Gotham is run at the distance of 1 1/16 miles around Aqueduct's inner dirt track and carries a $400,000 purse. While the Gotham drew a large field of 13, the list of contenders does not include Alpha, the winner of the Count Fleet and the G3-Withers, who will skip the Gotham and likely point towards the G1-Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on March 31st.
Hansen finished 2nd to Algorithms in the Holy Bull Stakes after running off a bit in the early stages and setting some brutally quick fractions. After that race, I wondered if trainer Michael Make might take the blinkers off for Hansen's next start in order to take a bit of the edge off of him. Turns out, that's exactly what he's going to do for the Gotham. We'll see whether removing the shades settles down Hansen without taking away his chief asset, his natural speed.
The field is big for the Gotham, but it debatable as to how deep it is. Hansen's class advantage is clear, but his post position will make things a little more difficult than if he had drawn inside. The good news for Hansen is that outside of possibly King and Crusader, none of his rivals possess anywhere near the natural speed that Hansen does. That should allow him to get to the front and over to the rail to avoid getting caught wide into the first turn.
Below are the entries and post positions for Saturday's Grade 3 Gotham Stakes.
|1||My Adonis||E. Trujillo||K. Breen||5/1|
|2||Stealcase||L. Contreras||M. Casse||12/1|
|3||Finnegans Wake||K. Desormeaux||D. Romans||20/1|
|4||Pretension||J. Santiago||C. Grove||20/1|
|5||Maan||R. Maragh||E. Kenneally||15/1|
|6||Dan and Sheila||J. Velazquez||T. Pletcher||8/1|
|7||Suns Out Guns Out||I. Ortiz, Jr.||D. Romans||30/1|
|8||Ranconteur||C. Velasquez||T. Pletcher||15/1|
|9||King and Crusader||M. Luzzi||R. Dutrow||15/1|
|10||Side Road||A. Garcia||K. McLaughlin||12/1|
|11||Done Talking||D. Cohen||H. Smith||20/1|
|12||Hansen||R. Dominguez||M. Maker||6/5|
|13||Tiger Walk||E. Castro||I. Correas||12/1|