NEW YORK — Hansen confirmed his status as a top contender for the Kentucky Derby by winning the $400,000 Gotham Stakes with ease at Aqueduct Race Track on Saturday.
The near-white colt swept to the lead around the far turn and cruised to a three-length victory over My Adonis in the New York prep race on the road to the Derby on May 5.
Hansen has now won four of five starts, rebounding from his only defeat – by five lengths to the now-sidelined Algorithms in the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 29.
Majority owner Dr. Kendall Hansen said he wanted to dye Hansen’s tail and mane blue for the race, but the New York racing stewards denied his request.
Instead, Hansen left his 12 rivals with the blues in covering the 11/16 miles in 1:42.84 under jockey Ramon Dominguez over a good track. The striking 3-year-old returned $3.60, $2.80 and $2.50. My Adonis, with Elvis Trujillo aboard, paid $4.80 and $4.10. Finnegans Wake returned $7.30 to show.
Dogwood Stable’s Raconteur finished seventh.
SANTA ANITA HANDICAP: In Arcadia, Calif., Ron the Greek won the $750,000 race by 3½ lengths, sending Setsuko to a runner-up finish for the second consecutive year.
Ridden by Jose Lezcano, Ron the Greek ran 1¼ miles in 2:00.41 and paid $9.20, $4.40 and $3.40 for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. Setsuko returned $3.60 and $2.80. Uh Oh Bango was another half-length back in third and paid $6.60 to show.