Reigning American 2-year-old champion Hansen breezed an easy half-mile Sunday at Churchill Downs’ Trackside Training Center as the major contender for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) worked for the first time since his return to Kentucky following a winter spent mostly in Florida.
Dr. Kendall Hansen and Sky Chai Racing’s 3-year-old son of Tapit covered the half-mile in :50.40 just after the mid-training session break for track maintenance. Despite heavy rain in Louisville overnight, the six-furlong Trackside training course was rated “fast” for Hansen’s move.
Hansen had the track nearly to himself as he completed the distance under exercise rider Joel Barrientos in fractions of :12, :24.60 and :37.60 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:05.40.
Trainer Mike Maker said afterward that he was looking for an easy move for Hansen, who won the Gotham (GIII) at Aqueduct in his most recent start. The colt is being pointed toward the Wood Memorial (GI) at Aqueduct on April 7, which will serve as his final prep for the May 5 Kentucky Derby.
Maker said Hansen would probably work again next Saturday, provided the colt comes out of Sunday’s training move well.