09/23/2011 4:33PM

Kentucky Cup Juvenile: Hansen has flashed some speed


Because the KC Juvenile hasn’t been run since 2008, it is no longer graded, which could become a disadvantage when trying to make the cut for the Breeders’ Cup. Still, Mike Maker is hoping that the exciting gray colt in his stable named Hansen ultimately will showcase his talent on a bigger stage, Breeders’ Cup or no.

Hansen, who earned an 89 Beyer Speed Figure when he romped in his career debut just two weeks ago in a Turfway sprint, figures as a solid favorite when stretching out to 1 1/16 miles Saturday in the Juvenile. A Tapit colt, he is named for his owner-breeder, Dr. Kendall Hansen, a northern Kentucky physician.

“We’ve always been high on him, and he did not disappoint at first asking,” said Maker. “Hopefully he keeps moving forward.”

Maybe the best of the seven challengers to Hansen could be Space Traveler, from the Pletcher barn. McCarthy noted that the Malibu Moon colt “may’ve had a little excuse” when faltering in his second start after a flashy July debut.

Among the other starters is Pryce’s Posse, trained by Tim Ice of Summer Bird fame.