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2012 Kentucky Derby: Hansen Likely To Make Final Prep In Blue Grass, Not Wood

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2012 Kentucky Derby contender Hansen will likely make his next start in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 14th.
2012 Kentucky Derby contender Hansen will likely make his next start in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 14th.

A report in the Daily Racing Form indicates that Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Hansen is likely to make his final Kentucky Derby prep in the G1-Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland and not the G1-Wood Memorial. The Blue Grass is slated to run on April 14th, one week later than the Wood.

I'm not really surprised by the news from the Hansen camp today, as I thought that the Blue Grass would be a good final prep race for Hansen given his affinity for the surface and the proximity to Churchill Downs. We already know that he can run on dirt and at Churchill, and the colt has plenty of graded earnings under his belt which lessens the need for a big performance in his next race. The chief concern now for trainer Michael Maker is to get his colt in top physical condition heading into the first Saturday in May. A race over Keeneland's Polytrack surface isn't a bad way to attempt to build a bit more stamina into Hansen before the Derby.