Hansen streaked to a 3-length victory in the G3 Gotham Stakes, giving "the great white hope" renewed outlook for the 2012 Kentucky Derby.
Facing 12 other 3-year-old colts, Hansen broke from post 12 and stayed on the outside as Maan and King and Crusader surged for the lead. Hansen rated under jockey Ramon Dominguez just behind the pacesetters through the backstretch, and made for the lead into the final turn. Hansen drew off from the field by 3 lengths. My Adonis chased in second, but could not make up ground on the juvenile champ. Finnegan's Wake closed to get third.
It was a sweet victory for the son of Tapit, who didn't inspire much confidence after his seasonal debut in the Holy Bull, where he set a torrid pace and was easily passed by Algorithms.
This time, Hansen was relaxed and professional, letting King and Crusader set the swift fractions of :23.6 and :47.5. When he made the lead, he didn't back off, despite a challenge from late-running My Adonis. Hansen covered the 1 1/16 mile distance in 1:37.
"He settled nice and that’s what we were looking for," said trainer Mike Maker. "More impressive, he lost all that ground and wasn’t rank behind horses."
Next start for Hansen is the G1 Wood Memorial. As shown by his owner, Dr. Kendall Hansen, the May 5 Kentucky Derby is the ultimate goal. Dr. Hansen sported a bright blue t-shirt in the winner's circle that proclaimed the colt, "The Great White Hope - 05.05.12".