Reigning American 2-year-old champion Hansen tuned up for a planned run in Keeneland’s Toyota Blue Grass (Grade I) on April 14 with a strong five-furlong work in :59.80 on Saturday at Churchill Downs’ Trackside training center.
The Toyota Blue Grass will be the colt’s final prep for the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 5.
Dr. Kendall Hansen and Sky Chai Racing’s 3-year-old son of Tapit had Joel Barrientos in the saddle as he zipped over the “fast” six-furlong training surface in fractional times of :12.20, :23.80, :35.80 and :47.40 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.60.
Hansen had turned in a couple of relatively easy works since he returned to trainer Mike Maker’s base at Trackside after spending most of the winter in Florida, but his trainer was looking for something more in Saturday’s move.
“We let him pick it up a little bit,” Maker said. “He’s doing good. He is not stressed at all. It was a pretty solid work and he had a nice gallop-out.”
Hansen’s move was the second-fastest of 10 Trackside works at the distance. His Maker-trained stablemate Lotta Lovin, a 3-year-old filly owned by William J. Butler, fired the “bullet” work at the distance at :59.20.
Hansen scored an emphatic three-length victory in his most recent start on March 3 in the 1 1/16-mile Gotham Stakes (GIII) at Aqueduct. He has a career record of 4-1-0 in five races and earnings of $1,473,305. His only setback was a runner-up finish to Algorithms in the Holy Bull (GIII) at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 29.