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Hansen Shines In The Kentucky Cup Juvenile

To Honor and Serve and Pomeroy's Pistol grabbed many of this weekend's headlines with their strong wins in graded stakes races, but Hansen has a lot of juvenile watchers chattering after he demolished the field in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile at Turfway Park on Saturday.  It was the second straight laugher for the almost-white colt by Tapit out of the Sir Cat mare, Stormy Sunday. Back on Sept. 9th Hansen ran a group of Maiden Special Weights into the ground by 12 1/4 lengths while going 5 and a half furlongs.  On Saturday, trainer Michale Maker stretched Hansen out to a mile and a sixteenth, to which he responded by winning by 13 1/4. 

Two races.  Two wins.  A combined 25 1/2 lengths back to his nearest rivals. Hanson has yet to trail a race in his young career.

Below is a summary of Saturday's Turfway card, along with the winners and their individual internal splits (via the Formulator Interactive Charts).

Race Condition Dist. Winner 1st 2nd 3rd Final
1 MdClm $15k 6.5 Charming Endeavour 23.62 23.00 31.58
2 Alw/OC $20k 8.0 Ghostwalking 24.08 24.65 24.58 25.41
3 MdSpWt 6.0 Quick Silver Song 22.78 23.42 12.58 13.19
4 Alw/OC $20k 8.0 Starsilhoutte 24.80 23.46 24.67 25.91
5 MdSpWt 8.0 Tapanna* 24.30 23.79 24.87 25.37
6 KyCupJuvFillies 8.0 Charming Vixen 24.12 24.20 25.80 26.65
7 KyCupJuv 8.5 Hansen 23.83 23.08 24.57 34.35
8 KyCupSprint 6.0 Matthewsburg 22.88 22.44 12.15 12.81
9 KyCupDistaff 8.5 La Gran Bailadora 25.79 23.93 23.70 31.47
10 KyCup 8.5 Future Prospect 24.56 23.42 23.85 32.89
11 Alw/OC $60k 6.5 Lou's Angel 22.73 23.12 31.52

 

*An interesting sidenote from Saturday, the winner of race 5, Tapanna, is a full sister brother to Hansen. I guess it was a pretty good weekend for Stormy Sunday.

Turfway, unfortunately, doesn't have Trakus so many of the internal split estimates are, just that, estimates.  Hansen's split are easy since he led every step of the way.

Hansen came home very slowly in the Juvenile (34.35 for the last 3/16ths), but he had good reason: he ran at an almost "sprinters pace" through the opening half mile.  His half mile split of 46.91 was the fastest of any winning horse going two-turns at Turfway on Saturday, and his six furlong split of 1:11.48 was also the fastest of all the two-turn winners.

That being said, you've got to wonder just a little bit about what would have happened if Hansen had something a little more running behind him. The rest of the field lacked depth and are probably not graded stakes animals, at least not without a lot of improvement. He's dominated two sets of over-matched juveniles at Turfway and it remains to be seen what Hansen will do when he moves up the class ladder. But at this point, Hansen is one of the more intriguing juveniles on the radar.

Where does this leave Hansen for the Breeders Cup? It would appear that Michael Maker has a lot of options as he could conceivably run in either the Juvenile Sprint, Juvenile Turf or Juvenile.  According to a report at Blood-Horse.com, Hansen will point to the Juvenile. The question now becomes, "will Hansen's early speed be as effective on dirt as it is on Polytrack and, if not, is he a horse that can run a big race while rating early on?"