Hansen, last year's 2-year-old champ, overcame an outside post and a wide trip to win the $400,000 Gotham S. (G3) at Aqueduct Racetrack by three lengths. The near-white son of Tapit is one of four stakes winners in 2012 for his sire, who is could find himself at the top of this year's General Sire List after today's totals are tabulated.
Racing without blinkers for the first time in his career, Hansen was forced five-wide going into the first turn of the 1 1/16-mile trip. Despite the tough position, Ramon Dominguez had his mount move all the way up into second going into the backstretch. Content to set just off the flank of pacesetter King and Crusader until just outside the quarter pole, Hansen moved to the front with ease, then shifted to the rail to easily hold off My Adonis in the final furlong.
“I was hopeful he would take a step forward as far as relaxing but he really did it to an extent that really surprised me,” said Dominguez, who was aboard Hansen for the third straight time. “Especially from his last race to now; very, very drastic and beautiful. He relaxed excellent.”
The winner ran made the trip in 1:43.84 on a “good” surface while running his record to 4-1-0 in five starts. He has now earned $1,473,305 for co-owners Kendall Hansen (also his breeder) and Harvey Diamond.
Trained by Mike Maker, Hansen could return to Aqueduct for the April 7 Wood Memorial (G1), though his owner, who lives near Turfway Park, has previously said that he would like to run in the March 24 Spiral S. (G3) at the northern Kentucky track. Hansen started his career last autumn at Turfway with two dominating performances in his maiden and the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile S.