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2012 Kentucky Derby Contenders: Hansen

Horse: Hansen
Trainer: Michael Maker
Pedigree: By Tapit out of a Sir Cat mare (Stormy Sunday)
Career Record: 6-4-2-0
Career Earnings: $1,623,305
Notable Races: G1-Blue Grass Stakes (2nd); G3-Gotham Stakes (1st); G3-Holy Bull (2nd); G1-Breeders' Cup Juvenile (1st); Kentucky Cup Juvenile (1st)

Can He Win The 2012 Kentucky Derby?:

Winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last fall at Churchill Downs, Hansen comes into the Kentucky Derby off of three solid prep races this winter/spring. The most impressive, and possibly important, race of his career was his win in the G3-Gotham back on March 3rd. That race is particularly important because it was the first time Hansen displayed an ability to stalk the early leaders, instead of setting the pace himself. However, in his other two starts of 2012 - G3-Holy Bull and G1-Blue Grass - Hansen again had trouble settling in the early stages, fading in the final furlong of both races.

Looking at his races from 2012, it appears Hansen has the difficulty setting in the early stages of a race when he's drawn inside of other speed. In both the Blue Grass and the Holy Bull, Hansen was drawn into post position #4, and each time he became headstrong in the early stages. In the Gotham, Hansen broke from the far outside in post position #12, and as a result, he was able to stalk the early leaders through the first half mile of the race.

Given Hansen's troubles with inside posts this spring, his chances for winning Saturday's Derby were given a much needed boost when he drew the #14 post position on Wednesday. While the Derby is going to be a difficult race for a speed horse like Hansen to win, he's got a much better shot now that he's drawn outside of the other speed horses in the race, especially Trinniberg.