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Kentucky: Dullahan headed to Haskell, Hansen to the Iowa Derby
By Marty McGee
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.
The Haskell has always been the landing spot for the flashy speed 3yo colts. I don't like Dullahan in here. If Romans thinks he has a real classic horse. He should ship Dullahan out West to run on synthetics and prep for BC Classic. Otherwise this colt is headed for grass.
Hansen in the Iowa Derby is a good start for the comeback trail. West Virginia Derby good way to dodge the big boys and come back to the Travers fresh. Its also a good opportunity especially in the Iowa Derby to spot a rising 3yo for second half of the season.. Love the way Hansen ran in the BC Juv. But this guy is gonna be a miler not a classic horse. Would be great to see him in the Travers, with Rags for another rematch.
If I was the owner/trainer of a horse that won the Bluegrass and was 3rd in the KY Derby I'd go to the Haskell too. ALL top 3yos should be in the Haskell. NOT the Jim Dandy. Union Rags and Gemologist need to show up and not duck Bodemeister. Pletcher and Matz know they can't beat Bode though so they will duck him if they can.
I hope Romans gets Kent D. back on Dullahan because that ride in the Belmont he got was putrid. They only other jockey I would consider is Joe Bravo because he could win on a pig at Monmouth Park. Union Rags is on the Jim Dandy/Travers trail so he won't be there, only Bodemeister to worry about.
what a bad decision to send dullahan to this speed/tight favoring track....will be off the board with ease...
Happy to hear Hansen is doing much better as well and is ready to race again. We haven't seen him since the Kentucky Derby, so where he is training-wise is a mystery going into the Iowa Derby. Good luck to Hansen in the ID.
I'm not surprised Dullahan is going to be running in the Haskell, not at all, because Bodemeister will be running in the Haskell. That's exactly the kind of speed Dullahan needs to run at, being a closer. I can see Dale Romans's reasoning here - Dullahan had a great run at Bodemeister in the Kentucky Derby and just narrowly missed catching Bode for the place spot. And Bodemeister will probably not be the only speed in the race as well. If the scenario goes perfectly for him, he still has a shot to win it. Union Rags has not officially been committed to this race as yet, as we know. Hopefully, we will soon know MM's strategy with running him as well.
I like the schedule Maker is put in place: Prairie Meadows Derby, WV Derby and Travers. Can't wait!!!
I don't know why people automatically assume Dullahan is better on grass. He has 0 wins on the surface, despite facing much, MUCH easier than what he's been facing on dirt or synthetic. He may simply just be best on synthetic. So far he's shown the least on turf.
O.K. - Bode and Dullahan so far...any thoughts on Union Rags chances of running there too? I am thinking that UR will need to win Haskell, Travers and BC Classic to win 3 y.o. of the year.
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