09/24/2011 5:08PM

Kentucky Cup: Hansen takes star turn in Juvenile romp at Turfway


FLORENCE, Ky. – The Kentucky Cup Juvenile built a proud history during its first 15 runnings at Turfway Park when it was won by such standouts as Boston Harbor, Point Given, and Vindication. And when the $100,000 Juvenile was run Saturday for the first time since 2008, the winner looked like he just might be capable of upholding that tradition.

Hansen, a flashy gray colt making just his second start, blew away his seven opponents in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile, taking command shortly after the start of the 1 1/16-mile Polytrack race and widening throughout, winning by 13 1/4 lengths. The colt’s breeder, owner, and namesake, Dr. Kendall Hansen, entered the winner’s circle with a delirious gaze.

“He’s a rock star,” said Hansen.

Ridden by Victor Lebron and trained by Mike Maker, Hansen finished in 1:45.83 and returned $3 as the heavy favorite after winning his career debut 15 days beforehand by 12 lengths. Fine finished second, another 1 1/2 lengths before Downtown Driggs.

“He’s one of the best horses I’ve ever ridden,” said Lebron.

Hansen, a northern Kentucky physician, noted that the Juvenile is not graded because of the missed runnings, and his colt might be excluded from the Breeders’ Cup because of a lack of graded points. But asked whether he wants to run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile or Juvenile Sprint, Hansen said: “Hell yeah. The way he ran today, we’ll probably skip the Breeders’ Futurity (Oct. 8 at Keeneland) and just hope to make it in, although I’ll leave everything up to Mike.”

After Downtown Driggs, the complete order was Space Traveler, Pryce’s Posse, Hollywood Script, My Newfound Saint, and Future.

Fine, a 14-1 shot ridden by Jamie Theriot, completed a $2 exacta worth $29.80.