01/30/2012 4:31PM

Gulfstream Park: Hansen fine after Holy Bull stumble

Barbara D. Livingston
Hansen suffered his first defeat in Sunday's Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Though he may no longer be undefeated, Hansen, the recently crowned 2-year-old champion of 2011, remains on the Triple Crown trail with a likely next start coming in the Grade 2, $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 26.

Trainer Mike Maker said Monday that, despite stumbling at the start, Hansen came out of his second-place finish to Algorithms in Sunday’s Grade 2, $400,000 Holy Bull in good shape.

“Everything’s well, he didn’t grab a quarter or anything,” Maker said. “We were second best. He’ll probably benefit from the race. It’s called a prep race for a reason.”

In the Holy Bull, Hansen was making his first start since he held off Union Rags by a head to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs. That capped a 3-for-3 campaign that earned Hansen the Eclipse Award as North America’s champion 2-year-old male.

Under Ramon Dominguez, Hansen stumbled at the start of the Holy Bull, but quickly recovered and set fractions of 23.64 seconds for the quarter, 45.67 for the half-mile, and 1:10.21 for six furlongs over a sloppy track. He was no match for Algorithms, who took over just above the eighth pole and went on to win by five. Hansen held second by a half-length over My Adonis.

“He stumbled and he didn’t want to settle after that,” Maker said. “He still continued to fight for second place, which was good to see.”

Dominguez said that when Algorithms went past him, Hansen shifted to the rail. But after a few strides, he righted himself and tried to run on again.

“As soon as he saw him for two or three strides, he got straight with me again and I got him to the outside and he was good after that,” Dominguez said. “Disappointed, because of course he’s a super good horse, you want to win, you expect to win. Overall, I can’t be too disappointed with him, because he did extremely well under the circumstances.”