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Saratoga: Hansen's stamina questions make him Travers outsider
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Despite being a champion, one of just two Grade 1 winners in the prospective field, and the primary speed in the race, Hansen figures to be somewhat of a longshot in next Saturday’s $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga.
In addition to trying a 1 1/4-mile distance that many believe is beyond his reach, Hansen will be racing just three weeks after finishing fourth as the 3-5 favorite in the West Virginia Derby.
On Saturday, Hansen completed his major preparations for the Travers by working five furlongs in 1:02.80 at the Trackside Training center in Louisville, Ky.
“The race didn’t take much out of him,” trainer Mike Maker said by phone. “He’s held his weight good considering he has a tendency to lose weight. His energy is high. If he’s not fit by now, he never will be. It was a maintenance breeze. He did it well within himself.”
Maker and owner Kendall Hansen believe the early pace proved to be Hansen’s undoing in the West Virginia Derby. He dueled outside of Hero of Order through fractions of 24.43 seconds, 47.33, and 1:11.23 before giving way inside the sixteenth pole. Hansen finished fourth, beaten 2 1/4 lengths by Macho Macho.
“They don’t have that saying pace makes the race for nothing,” Maker said. “The opening quarter cooked him.”
The distance may also have cooked Hansen. He faded to ninth in the Kentucky Derby, chasing hot early fractions and he has never won beyond 1 1/16 miles.
“He’s run a mile and a quarter before. It’s just that a bunch of horses ran quicker than he did,” Maker said. “Hopefully, we’ll run quicker than them this time.”
Hansen is scheduled to ship to Saratoga on Monday.
Entries will be made and post positions drawn for the Travers on Wednesday. The 10-horse field is expected to include Alpha, Atigun, Fast Falcon, Five Sixteen, Hansen, Liaison, Neck ‘N Neck, Stealcase, and Street Life.
Turbulent Descent preps for Ballerina
Turbulent Descent, last year’s Test winner, worked four furlongs in 48.04 seconds Saturday morning in company with Mildly Offensive. Turbulent Descent is preparing for the Grade 1 Ballerina on Friday, which will be her first start for trainer Todd Pletcher.
“Really nice,” Pletcher said of the work. “She seems like she’s sitting on go.”
Others expected for the Ballerina, a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, include All Due Respect, Derwin’s Star, Island Bound, Nicole H, and possibly Sweet Cassiopeia, Winning Image, and Bold Affair.
I cleaned up on show bets at the WV Derby when Hansen missed the board. Crowd was very upset that day. They gave out little Hansen dolls and stuff. Blue tail didn't cut it. This horse really looks like a mile horse, not a mile and a quarter.
How can Hansen's owner expect him to get a classic distance if a 24 and change quarter cooks him? Did he see Questing's fractions today? Also, check out the hardware on his bridle for a simple workout. This horse does not want to rate and obviously fights when restrained. This poor horse could get the Eclipse for most mismanaged with Dullahan a close second.
This is an example of an owner telling the trainer what to do and where to run his horse. My hat is off to Maker that he backs him up in the press but I would guess behind the scenes he is giving his real opinion of the situation. After this they then want to come back and run in a month or less in the Indiana Derby. If he was my horse, no way would he be running. I agree Joe below, that had could a 1/4 in 24 seconds cook a horse like this. The WV Derby was the fastest run in 9 years but it was the last fractions that made it quicker, the first part was run at a slow/reasonable pace.
The second Dominguez races Alpha to the front,the race will be over for Hansen...I have always liked Hansen,but his connections have no business running him past a mile and one sixteenth! Maker and owner Hansen are however in the running for "biggest dopes of the year" with the connections of Creative Cause!! Toss up??? ML
Sorry. No way he gets this distance. Reguardless of his pedigree he has shown his limitations. Nice colt. Should go in KB to prep for Indiana then BC mile. I called Rags in,Belmont, Questing in her last two. And I see Neck n Neck or Alpha here. Maybe with Mr Zito's colt.
Does Mike Maker think everyone else in the field should take back? Maybe then Hansen can go the quarter in 26 or 27 seconds. It's a horse race. Nobody wants to allow any horse a pedestrian quarter. See what happened today in the Arlington Million? He shouldn't run the horse if he doesn't think he can handle the early heat.
An opening quarter of 24 and 2 cooked him? Sorry, but if those fractions cook him he shouldn't be routing.
Hansen gets hot n dirty again. It really is time to question the handling of this Colt.
Alpha might be tough to beat on that Saratoga track. I think Hansen has had enough races to endure the mile and a quarter. He is a Tapit and nothing on the Tapit side would prevent him from this distance, regardless of what the handicapped think. I look back at his races and can make an excuse for his failures. Bet this one while he lingers around 4 - 7/2 at post time. I am.
Going after Hansen in this weak field . Love to get 3-1 on him
- 1.Posted 12/08/2013 09:52AM
- 2.Posted 12/07/2013 07:42PM
- 3.Posted 12/08/2013 06:24PM
- 4.Posted 12/05/2013 04:54PM
- 5.Posted 12/07/2013 03:42PM