06/23/2012 12:01PM

Kentucky: Dullahan headed to Haskell, Hansen to the Iowa Derby

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Tom Keyser
Trainer Dale Romans is going to give Dullahan another try on dirt in the Haskell Invitational.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Two of the top 3-year-olds in training, Dullahan and Hansen, had their next races confirmed by their connections after Saturday workouts.

Dullahan goes next in the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on July 29, while Hansen will run Saturday night, June 30, in the Grade 3, $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows.

The Saturday work at Churchill Downs was the first for Dullahan since the chestnut colt finished a disappointing seventh as the 5-2 favorite in the June 9 Belmont Stakes. Over a fast track, he went five furlongs in 1:00.60.

“We haven’t given up thinking he can run on dirt,” said Dale Romans, who trains Dullahan for the Donegal Racing partnership. “If we want to try him on the turf after that, we can always wheel him back in the Secretariat,” a Grade 1 race on the Aug. 18 International Festival of Racing program at Arlington Park.

The move to the 1 1/8-mile Haskell with Dullahan still leaves Romans with his red-hot turf prospect, Silver Max, as a major threat if he opts for the July 21 Virginia Derby on the Colonial Downs grass course. Romans said he also is considering the July 14 American Derby at Arlington for Silver Max; the trainer also has Finnegan’s Wake for the Virginia Derby and Cozzetti for the American Derby.

Romans also said he has decided against running Tapitsfly against males next Sunday in the Grade 2 Firecracker at Churchill, saying he will wait instead for the Grade 1 Diana at Saratoga on July 28. Tapitsfly won the Grade 1 Just a Game on the Belmont undercard in her last start.

Meanwhile, at the nearby Trackside training center, trainer Mike Maker said the five-furlong Saturday workout for Hansen in 1:01.20 was “very much in character” when serving as a final prep for the 1 1/16-mile Iowa Derby.

“It was just a maintenance work,” said Maker. “I’m real happy with him.”

Hansen, ninth in the May 5 Kentucky Derby in his last start, bypassed the May 19 Preakness after Maker reported a blood test on the nearly-white colt was unsatisfactory. Hansen has since fully recovered, having posted six workouts at Trackside since the Derby.

Maker said the Iowa Derby was chosen over the $400,000 Red Legend the same night at Charles Town. The Red Legend is run at seven furlongs. “We’re running next in the West Virginia Derby and trying to make the Travers,” he said.

The 1 1/8-mile West Virginia Derby is set for Aug. 4 at Mountaineer, and the 1 1/4-mile Travers goes Aug. 25 at Saratoga.

Maker said he is sending one other horse Wednesday to Prairie Meadows for the biggest weekend of racing at the Altoona, Ia., track. Headache, an earner of nearly $775,000, also will run Saturday night in the Prairie showcase, the Grade 3, $300,000 Cornhusker Handicap. It will be the first start in seven months for Headache, a 6-year-old gelding owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

The solid favorite for the 1 1/8-mile Cornhusker is Successful Dan, based at Keeneland with Charlie Lopresti.