By NYRA PRESS
Champion Two-Year-Old Male Hansen’s ravel plans for next Saturday’s Grade 3, $400,000 Gotham are set, co-owner Dr. Kendall Hansen said Friday. Dr. Hansen said the colt will fly to New York on Feb. 29, the Wednesday before the Gotham, after turning in his final breeze at Gulfstream Park, possibly on Monday.
The doctor spoke of Hansen’s most recent workout, officially a 59.00 five-furlong breeze at Gulfstream on Feb. 19, in glowing terms.
“His last breeze on Sunday was strong,” said Dr. Hansen, who owns the colt in partnership with Dr. Harvey Diamond’s Sky Chai Racing. “He actually ran another furlong, and we were pleased with that. It was actually a six-furlong work. He was running 12-second furlongs, and that’s his cruising speed. Since he put up a bullet last week, his next breeze will probably be slower.”
Hansen, who capped his unbeaten 2-year-old campaign with a nose victory in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, finished second, beaten five lengths by Algorithms, in the Grade 3 Holy Bull after stumbling at the break. The Gotham will be his second start of 2012.
“We had some bad luck last time, and people probably think we’re beatable,” said Dr.Hansen. “We were about 75 percent last time and were hoping for an easy spot, but we ran into a top horse in Algorithms. [Hansen] is doing well right now. We’re at about 85 or 90 percent. Obviously, we want to peak in May.”
Dr. Hansen added that trainer Michael Maker has been working on getting the son of Tapit to settle in his workouts and that the 1 1/16-mile Gotham, which is expected to draw a large field, will test the colt’s ability to race in traffic.
“It’d be nice to see a few horses come to his side early, and then have him lead by about three or four lengths at the quarter pole,” said Dr. Hansen.
Dr. Hansen revealed Hansen’s demeanor has changed since the Holy Bull, giving the owner confidence the colt will regain winning form.
“It’s going to be fun, and I think we have the horse to beat,” said Dr. Hansen. “You don’t want to go against the champion in his first start after a loss. He was really ticked off [after the Holy Bull].”