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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Juvenile: Hansen

11/5/2011

Reed Palmer Photography/Churchill Downs

JUVENILE

5 Hansen 16.20 6.60 4.60
10  Union Rags   3.20 2.20
7 Creative Cause     3.60
2 Dullahan      

$2 Exacta: $46.20
$2 Trifecta: $233.60
$2 Superfecta: $953.60

Time: 1:44.44

Winning Owner: Kendall Hansen, M. D. & Sky Chai Racing (Harvey Diamond)
Winning Breeder: Dr. Kendall Hansen
Winning Trainer: Mike Maker
Winning Jockey: Ramon Dominguez

Equibase chart

Michael Maker (trainer, Hansen, 1st) – “He’s a natural. Obviously his performance speaks for itself. That’s the way he wants to run and we weren’t going to change a thing. It’s just that natural ability. Obviously he’s got a lot of speed and he’s always shown it. He’s also got a lot of fight; a bunch of good characteristics. We pointed to the Breeders’ Cup before he ever ran. I only told that to the owners, and they’re as crazy as I am.”

Ramon Dominguez (jockey, Hansen, 1st) – "He ran superb for me. Going into the first turn, he was a little aggressive. That made me a little concerned. When we got to the backside, he switched to his right (lead) and he came back to me and relaxed beautiful. I got pressed pretty early, around the three-eighths pole, but he continued coming for me. I'm very pleased. He’s special."

Michael Matz (trainer, Union Rags, 2nd) – “They were wide on the first turn; they were wide on the second turn. He (Javier Castellano) said the other horse had it his own way, and he (Union Rags) galloped out good and strong. He said, ‘one more jump and we would have had him.’ I didn’t get a good draw. I guess that’s racing. What are you going to do? It’s one of those things. I wish I had an answer for you. It’s disappointing, that’s for sure, but I guess that’s horseracing.”

Javier Castellano (jockey, Union Rags, 2nd) – “One jump after the wire, I was in front. But that’s horse racing. I’m disappointed in the result, but I’m not disappointed in my horse. He ran a wonderful race; tried hard all the way. I give the winner a lot of credit. He ran fast early, and he held on. You have to give him credit.”

Mike Harrington (trainer, Creative Cause, 3rd) – “He ran a really good race. He just got outrun. We’re going to give him a little break and bring him back next year. We’ll look for really big things from him then.”

Joel Rosario (jockey, Creative Cause, 3rd) - “We had a nice trip. We were moving about the same time as Union Rags and I was trying to leave enough, but the winner (Hansen) was just a little bit better. He got a little aggressive in the post parade from all the noise and the people and I think it might have cost us a little bit in the end.”

Kent Desormeaux (jockey, Dullahan, 4th) – “He could have won the race except that he jumped at the start and that cost us six or seven lengths.”

UNEDITED TRANSCRIPT FOLLOWS:

THE MODERATOR:  Now live in the interview room with the winning connections of Hansen.  We have with us the happy crew of Hansen, who remains undefeated with an exciting victory in today's Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile.  Left to right, the two gentlemen on the left are two men from Sky Chai Racing, David Koenig and Harvey Diamond.  In the middle, trainer Mike Maker, celebrating his second Breeders' Cup winner as the trainer.  He had first landed in the Dirt Mile out at Santa Anita.  To the right of Mike is owner Dr. Kendall Hansen.  Of course, his namesake, named after the Hansen family obviously.  And on the far right from Sky Chai is Jim Shircliff.  Congratulations, gentlemen.

            I'll start with you, Dr. Hansen.  After the Kentucky Cup Juvenile win your trainer was asked, now that you had won that race, if you were starting to think Breeders' Cup, and Mike responded that we were thinking Breeders' Cup before the horse had ever made a start.  Can you tell us what it was, back in those early days, that made you all so confident.

            DR. KENDALL HANSEN:  To tell you the truth, Mike didn't tell me how good he was until the race.  The words he used, I had to look in the dictionary to see what these words were.  I was thinking about naming the horse after these words, exceptional and on and on and on.  He's a man of few words.

            I was shocked, and then I find out no horse has ever been in front of him in a workout, and he's just been playing up until today.  Just two races, they didn't really ask him for all he's got.  It was nice to see him have to dig down today and work for a change because he's been playing until now, right?

            MIKE MAKER:  Pretty much, yeah.

            THE MODERATOR:  I'd like to expand on what Dr. Hansen said too, Mike.  Those first two races, it was like Hansen was in one race, and everybody else was in some other race trailing behind him.  Today not that situation whatsoever.  He was ‑‑ he had horses a lot closer to him all the way around the track.  And then down the lane it was a real dogfight.  Did he show you what an extra dimension here perhaps today?

            MIKE MAKER:  Not really.  Even though he won the races pretty handily, he's always been a fighter.  He's a tough horse to handle on a daily basis.  He did what he does.  He likes to gallop.  He wants to probably go a little quicker than you want to that first eighth.

            The last thing you want to do is fight him.  Ramon said as soon as he turned up the back side, he was very professional from there on.

            THE MODERATOR:  On Kentucky Cup Juvenile day, Dr. Hansen was the sole owner of Hansen.  Since then, he's been joined by Sky Chai Racing.  David or Harvey or Jim, if you could discuss or tell us about how you entered the ownership picture.  Sure looks like a good move so far.

            HARVEY DIAMOND:  Well, I think it was a good business decision.  We had a really nice 2‑year‑old that we bought in May, and Mike worked him one day with Hansen, and Hansen just blew him away, beat him by about 15 lengths.  We thought we had a really nice 2‑year‑old, and I said, hey, I want to own that horse.

            So we were very fortunate Kendall was receptive to our offer, and we feel very lucky to be sitting here today as part of this team.

            THE MODERATOR:  Dr. Hansen, is it fair to say after the Kentucky Cup Juvenile, you were on the receiving end of multiple requests to buy either into Hansen or all of Hansen?

            DR. KENDALL HANSEN:  Yeah.  I know Mike got like ten calls.  I got several calls as far away as Ireland.  But they also told me that the offer I got from Sky Chai was the really reasonable, nice offer, and I felt really very good about it.  I'm still very happy about it.

            THE MODERATOR:  Lastly, we'll throw it to the media.  Mike, you personally, were you nervous down the stretch?  And also, what did ‑‑ Ramon can't be with us, obviously.  He's riding Gio Ponti in a few minutes.  What did Ramon tell you after the race?

            MIKE MAKER:  Sue you in May.

            THE MODERATOR:  So May's on the calendar.  What were your feelings as you saw Union Rags ranging up on the outside and creative cause not necessarily going away?

            MIKE MAKER:  I didn't really focus who it was, but obviously I know it's Union Rags now.  Just watching our horse, and he was dug in, and I started looking for the wire.

            THE MODERATOR:  Okay.  You can ask a question.

            This is for Mike.  Mike, can you talk about, after winning the Kentucky Cup Juvenile, an ungraded race, and moving forward up to the Breeders' Cup juvenile, just your feelings, obviously.  That was an impressive win, but you beat Union Rags on a very nice field.  Just talk about what happened after that race and your decision to come into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

            MIKE MAKER:  You know, it was ‑‑ you know, we always dreamed of this day.  Like I said, I kind of had that in the back of my mind before we even started.

            DR. KENDALL HANSEN:  Let me tell you.  I lost his papers in the first race.  We were going to run him routes, and we had to go in a Sprint race.  My fault because I couldn't find the papers.  He had to adjust on the fly.

            MIKE MAKER:  And he usually takes his time naming his horses too, the week we're supposed to run them.  But anyway, that's another story.

            But I felt that confident in him before he ran.  Fortunately, for this time I was right.

 

            Q.  Mike, just some thoughts about this horse's talent, what makes him so special, the significance of winning this race for you, and also everyone will be looking at this horse as the favorite for the Kentucky Derby.  How do you feel about that?

            MIKE MAKER:  Couldn't be happier, obviously.  You dream about it your whole life, and when it happens, it's hard to take in all at once.  It's a great feeling, as you can imagine.  Just great to do it with this bunch of guys.

 

            Q.  What makes him so special?

            MIKE MAKER:  He's just got that natural speed.  Obviously, a lot of play to him.  Not just on the racetrack, it's at the barn.  He's just got that will.

            DR. KENDALL HANSEN:  Being a white horse ‑‑ it's so cool that he's almost white.

            THE MODERATOR:  Easy to spot, but he's also easy to spot because he's always in front.  Any early thoughts, Mike, in terms of what the winter might hold, where you might base him looking forward to the winter and spring?

            MIKE MAKER:  My guess is we'll go to Florida.  Obviously, we'll have that next on our topic.

 

            Q.  For Dr. Hansen, with Animal Kingdom winning the Kentucky Derby this year and you come in the first time on the dirt, you're helping out Turfway Park.  Just talk about that aspect a little bit there.

            DR. KENDALL HANSEN:  I started at Turfway 30 years ago as a handicapper.  I'd drive in from Indianapolis before I'd go to medical school.  That's my home.  We go through Florida.  I hope we can make our way back to run the lanes at Turfway on our way to the Derby.  I love it.

 

            Q.  Dr. Hansen, you were referring to the horse's color, and I'm looking at his saddle cloth in front of you.  It says Grey Goose Hansen.  Do you see any possible sponsorship tie‑ins?

            DR. KENDALL HANSEN:  I got to say, occasionally I get dragged out to the clubs in Cincinnati, and I mix a little Red Bull with the Grey Goose as well.

 

            Q.  I'd also like to ask Mike.  Were you personally involved with any of Lukas' Triple Crown winners?

            MIKE MAKER:  Yes, charismatic, worked him from '93 to 2003.

 

            Q.  And you trained this horse in Louisville during the summer.  You're also stabled up in Saratoga, are you not?

            MIKE MAKER:  Yes.

 

            Q.  Why did you not bring him up to the spa?

            MIKE MAKER:  He probably wasn't going to be ready to run.  I don't see any need to bring him up to train.

 

            Q.  Have you trained any other Tapits before?

            MIKE MAKER:  Yes, Headache.

 

            Q.  Would you speak to the challenge of getting the horse ready for the Kentucky Derby?  I know you just won and all that, but you are six months out.  How difficult it is to keep the blossom on the rose, so to speak, between now and then, and how you plan to go about doing it.

            MIKE MAKER:  Well, he is a high energy level.  I don't think it's going to be too difficult.  The last couple of years, I waited until the last minute.  Nice to know that time's on our side this time.

            THE MODERATOR:  Just, just a thrilling day as Hansen remains undefeated and perhaps well on his way to year end honors next January.  We want to congratulate everybody again, David Koenig, Harvey Diamond, Mike Maker, Dr. Hansen and Jim Shircliff.  Best of luck and continued success with it.

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