Dr. Kendall Hansen and Skychai Racing’s Hansen, the 6-5 morning line favorite for Saturday’s 88th
running of the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G1), made his first
appearance at Keeneland on Friday morning with a jog to the starting
gate for a schooling session and then galloping 1½ miles.
rider Joe Sharp was aboard the juvenile champion of 2011 as Hansen went
through his paces. Trainer Mike Maker said Hansen would be on the track
at 6 tomorrow morning for light training.
Maker brought Hansen to Keeneland a day early in order to get the session at the gate.
stumbled in the Holy Bull (G3) and in the Gotham (G3) he did not get
away very well but he behaved himself,” Maker said, noting that Hansen
had no problem last fall in his biggest victory, the Grey Goose
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Churchill Downs.
has won four of five starts for earnings of $1,473,305. He will break
from post position four in the Toyota Blue Grass and be ridden by Ramon
victory in the Toyota Blue Grass would be worth $450,000 and make
Hansen the top money earner to enter the Kentucky Derby in the race’s
138-year history. Hansen would have $1,923,305 to surpass Snow Chief’s mark of $1,719,040 entering the 1986 Run for the Roses.
home base is the Trackside Training Center, about 4 miles from
Churchill Downs, and a victory Saturday would make that spot a must stop
in the buildup to the Kentucky Derby.
“We will have a lot of people coming over there,” Maker said. “Or, it will be very lonely.”
About a half-hour after Hansen came to the track, Sharp brought stablemate Gung Ho to the track for a 1½-mile gallop.
Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Gung Ho finished seventh behind Toyota Blue Grass rival Dullahan
in last fall’s Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1) in his lone Keeneland
start. Gung Ho, who will be ridden by three-time Toyota Blue Grass
winner Edgar Prado, finished second in the Rushaway on March 24 at
Turfway Park in his lone start of 2012.
In other training activity involving Toyota Blue Grass entrants at Keeneland, Holy Candy galloped 1½ miles on the main track under Lupillo Alferez; Howe Great galloped 1½ miles on the main track under Heather Craig; Midnight Crooner galloped 1 3/8 miles on the main track under Peter Hutton; Politicallycorrect galloped about 1½ miles under Juan Merino on the main track; Ever So Lucky galloped twice around on the training track under Barry Wiseman; and Heavy Breathing galloped 1¼ miles on the training track under Nick Bush.
Trainer Gennadi Dorochenko’s two Toyota Blue Grass entrants, Hero of Order and Russian Greek, walked the shedrow. At Churchill Downs, Dullahan, Prospective and Scatman galloped and are scheduled to ship to Keeneland tomorrow morning.