01/26/2012 4:44PM

Gulfstream Park: Hansen tops field of six in Holy Bull

Barbara D. Livingston
Hansen will face a field of six when he makes his 3-year-old debut in Sunday's Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – The south Florida road to the Kentucky Derby will kick off in earnest Sunday when six aspiring Derby prospects, including recently crowned juvenile champion Hansen, square off at a mile in the $400,000 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park.

The Grade 3 Holy Bull is the first of three major preps on the Derby trail at Gulfstream, along with the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth on Feb. 26 and Grade 1 Florida Derby on March 31.

Hansen, who capped off an undefeated 2-year-old campaign with his victory over Union Rags in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, drew post 4 for his 3-year-old debut. Ramon Dominguez, who guided Hansen to victory in the Breeders’ Cup, will again have the assignment.

Hansen will face a field that includes Silver Max (Julien Leparoux), Consortium (John Velazquez), My Adonis (Elvis Trujillo), Fort Loudon (Rajiv Maragh), and Algorithms (Javier Castellano).

“It looks like a very competitive field, but it’s a short field and I’m pleased with the draw,” said Mike Maker, Hansen’s trainer. “One of his biggest assets is leaving the gate and putting himself in good position, and I’ll just leave things in Ramon’s hands.”

Hansen, who has done the majority of his training in the dark since shipping locally, came out after the break to gallop an energetic two miles Thursday morning before visiting the starting gate for a short schooling session.

“He went nicely this morning and schooled well at the gate again,” Maker said.

Algorithms and Consortium will square off for the second time at this meet. Algorithms ran down Consortium to post a one-length victory going 6 1/2 furlongs under allowance conditions here Dec. 16.

Fort Loudon, like Hansen, has not started since the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Fort Loudon swept Calder’s Florida Stallion Stakes series, but was compromised by a poor draw in the Breeders’ Cup, finishing seventh after prompting the early pace.