Updated on 06/06/2012 11:18AM

Belmont Park: Hansen to miss Woody Stephens Stakes

Email
Tom Keyser
Hansen will miss Saturday's Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont Park due to a low blood count.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Hansen, last year's 2-year-old champion who finished ninth in the Kentucky Derby, will miss a scheduled start in Saturday's Grade 2 Woody Stephens at Belmont Park because of a low blood count, trainer Mike Maker said Monday.

"His blood is a little out of whack," Maker said by phone Monday from Kentucky. "He gave us an indication something was wrong, we pulled a blood on him, and he was not 100 percent. We'll wait a little bit to run him."

Maker said that Hansen did not have to be taken out of training.

Plans for Hansen are undetermined. The next two significant sprint races in the 3-year-old division are the Grade 3, $150,000 Carry Back at Calder on July 7 and the Grade 3, $100,000 Jersey Shore at Monmouth on July 14, but both are at six furlongs.

If his connections want to run Hansen long again, options could include the Grade 2, $200,000 Dwyer, a one-turn 1 1/16-mile race at Belmont on June 30.

With Hansen out, favoritism for the Woody Stephens could fall to Trinniberg, who was a multiple graded stakes winner at seven furlongs -- the Woody Stephens distance -- before running 17th in the Kentucky Derby.

Trinniberg won the Grade 3 Swale at Gulfstream in March and the Grade 3 Bay Shore in April at Aqueduct. In the Kentucky Derby, Trinniberg prompted Bodemeister through hot early fractions before fading to 17th, 31 1/2 lengths behind I'll Have Another.

"We tried to stretch him out, you never know what a horse can do," said Bisnath Parboo, the trainer of Trinniberg.

Parboo said that when it became obvious Trinniberg was not going to get a piece of the Derby, jockey Willie Martinez took it easy on him through the stretch.

Trinniberg returned to Calder two days after the Derby and has fired two bullet workouts over the south Florida track before shipping to New York last Saturday.

"He came out of the Derby really nice," Parboo said.

Trinniberg made his first appearance on the Belmont main track on Monday, jogging once the wrong way alongside a stable pony.

Others pointing to the Woody Stephens include Bourbon Courage, Brian, Currency Swap, Hardened Wildcat, Hierro, Laurie's Rocket, and Power World.