02/29/2012 2:55PM

Aqueduct: Hansen draws post 12 in 13-horse Gotham

Barbara D. Livingston
Hansen, last year's champion juvenile, will race without blinkers as the 6-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday's Gotham Stakes.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Hansen, last year’s 2-year-old champion, drew post 12 in a field of 13 3-year-olds entered to run in Saturday’s Grade 3, $400,000 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct.

The 13 entries are believed to be the largest for a single running of the Gotham, which was first run in 1953. The race was split three times, the last being in 1983. In 1994, there was a 12-horse field and Irgun won the race from post 11.

Mike Maker, the trainer of Hansen, admitted that post 12 was a concern but added “what can you do?”

Maker will be removing the blinkers from Hansen’s equipment in the Gotham, but still expects the horse to be on the lead under Ramon Dominguez.

“He’s going to break and put himself forwardly placed. With or without blinkers that’s his mentality,” Maker said.

Hansen won all three of his starts last year, including a head victory over Union Rags in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs. In his 3-year-old debut, the Grade 3 Holy Bull at Gulfstream, Hansen stumbled at the start, raced a bit headstrong early, and finished second to Algorithms, beaten five lengths.

Maker said he wasn’t surprised that so many horses were entered against Hansen in the Gotham.

“It’s that time of year, everybody’s trying to find their way,” said Maker, who trains Hansen for Dr. Kendall Hansen and the Skychai Racing of Harvey Diamond and Jim Shircliff. “He got beat last time, showed he’s vulnerable.”

New York Racing Association line-maker Eric Donovan installed Hansen as the 6-5 morning-line favorite.

Donovan made My Adonis the 5-1 second choice. My Adonis, who finished one-half length behind Hansen when third in the Holy Bull, drew the rail and will be ridden by Elvis Trujillo. My Adonis, King and Crusader (post 9), and Pretension (post 4) are the only other stakes winners in the field.

A horse that figured to take betting action in the Gotham was Consortium, but he was not entered after a chip was discovered in the colt’s right front ankle following a Monday workout at Belmont Park. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Consortium was to undergo surgery and would be out until the summer. McLaughlin and Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Stable entered Side Road, a recent maiden winner, in the Gotham. Alan Garcia will ride Side Road from post 10.

Trainer Todd Pletcher, who lost a major Kentucky Derby contender when Algorithms suffered a splint injury, will send out the uncoupled entry of Raconteur and Dan and Sheila in the Gotham.

Raconteur has won his last two starts over the inner track. Dan and Sheila comes off a fourth-place finish in the Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds on Dec. 21.

“I think they’re both horses that are trying to take that step up to that next level,” Pletcher said. “Raconteur likes the inner track; two wins there though not against the kind of competition he’s going to face on Saturday.”

Regarding Dan and Sheila, Pletcher said, “We thought [he] ran a pretty solid race in the Lecomte getting away slowly, him being a little green, getting dirt in his face for the first time. If he can improve on that a bit he’ll be in the mix.”

Tiger Walk, third in the Withers, drew post 13. Done Talking, beaten one length in the Grade 2 Remsen, is in post 11.

Trainer Dale Romans entered the maiden winner Finnegans Wake and the maiden Suns Out Guns Out. Maan, 2 for 2, and Stealcase, a recent maiden winner at Gulfstream, complete the field.


Gotham S. (G3), Post Time: 5:02 ET Saturday

Purse: $400,000; 1 1/16 miles





ML Odds


My Adonis

K. Breen

E. Trujillo




M. Casse

L. Contreras



Finnegans Wake

D. Romans

K. Desormeaux




C. Grove

J. Santiago




E. Kenneally

R. Maragh



Dan and Sheila

T. Pletcher

J. Velazquez



Suns Out Guns Out

D. Romans

I. Ortiz, Jr.




T. Pletcher

C. Velasquez



King and Crusader

R. Dutrow, Jr.

M. Luzzi



Side Road

K. McLaughlin

A. Garcia



Done Talking

H. Smith

D. Cohen




M. Maker

R. Dominguez



Tiger Walk

I. Correas, IV

E. Castro