02/12/2017 10:11AM

En Hanse dominates WEBN Stakes

Coady Photography
En Hanse paid $13.20 in winning the WEBN Stakes on Saturday.

Breaking sharper than he had in his prior start in the Space City Stakes at Sam Houston on Jan. 29, En Hanse utilized his speed to shoot to the lead and dominate Saturday night’s $50,000 WEBN Stakes at Turfway Park.

Shaking clear of early traffic from his inside post, he established some breathing room from the pack on the turn, and pulled away in the stretch to win by 3 1/2 lengths. He raced 6 1/2 furlongs under Abel Lezcano in 1:15.84, just off the track record of 1:15.35. He paid $13.20.

“He didn’t like the dirt in his face,” winning trainer Mike Maker said of En Hanse running seventh in the Space City. “But he vindicated us today.”

Favorite, at 1-2, Star Empire chased the winner throughout, finishing second, a length in front of Hunka Burning Love, another Maker-trained starter.

The WEBN Stakes was the first local prep for the $500,000 JACK Cincinnati Casino Spiral Stakes on March 25, and is now followed by the March 4 John Battaglia Stakes at 1 1/16 miles, a race Maker is targeting for En Hanse.

The winner is owned by Bode Miller and Kendall Hansen, who in partnership raced the colt’s sire, Hansen, who won the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and was voted champion 2-year-old of that year. In notching his first stakes victory in the WEBN, En Hanse improved his record to three wins and one third in seven starts with earnings of $65,337.