The dramatic win confirmed trainer Mike Maker’s belief that this nearly white Tapit colt will take him to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in November.
The race was the third of five wins on the card for Maker, who now holds the Turfway record for most wins by a trainer in a single day. He also won the fourth race with Starsilhouette, the fifth race with Tapanna, the Speightstown Kentucky Cup Sprint (G3) with Matthewsburg, and the Distorted Humor Kentucky Cup Distaff (G3) with La Gran Bailadora.
The Bluegrass Cat Kentucky Cup Juvenile belonged to Hansen from the get-go. He was out of the gate first from post eight and commanded the pace in :23.83 for the quarter, :46.91 for the half mile, 1:11.48 for six furlongs, and 1:38.68 for the mile before finishing the 1 1/16-mile course in 1:45.83. Fine was second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Downtown Driggs in third.
“They came up to me a little early,” said winning jockey Victor Lebron. “I got him to relax and he cleared off again. He’s a push-button horse. I could put him anywhere if I wanted to.”
The Bluegrass Cat Kentucky Cup Juvenile was Hansen’s second start. The colt broke his maiden at first asking Sept. 9, leading gate to wire to win a maiden special sprint at Turfway by 12 1/4 lengths.
“He’s one of the best horses I’ve ever ridden,” continued Lebron, who has been aboard for both of Hansen’s double-digit victories. “The way he ran last time, he took to the front and relaxed. He actually ran off. I couldn’t pull him up until the five-eighths pole. That told me he could go long—all day if you let him. Hopefully he’s my (Kentucky) Derby horse.”
Fourth and following in Saturday’s Juvenile were Space Traveler, Pryce’s Posse, Hollywood Script, My Newfound Saint, and Future.
Hansen was the odds-on 1-2 favorite and returned $3, $2.40, and $2.40.
Out of the Sir Cat mare Stormy Sunday, Hansen has now earned $73,305 for owner Kendall Hansen, a Northern Kentucky physician.
Stakes Win is Maiden Win for Charming Vixen
After coming close in her three previous races, Charming Vixen picked the perfect time to break her maiden, getting the best of a frontrunners’ duel to win the $100,000 Tiznow Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies Stakes.
Charming Vixen set the first quarter in :24.12 before allowing Best of Times to take over and sitting just a head behind that leader through a half in :48.30 and six furlongs in 1:14.10. When Best of Times began to give way coming into the stretch, Charming Vixen was ready to retake the lead and was clear by 3 1/2 lengths at the wire. Heated Debate came from mid-pack to finish second, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Spring Eclipse, who also came from off the pace.
“I’ve never had to work so hard to be quiet during a race,” said winning trainer Tom Amoss, who was on hand not only as the filly’s trainer but also as part of the TVG team that broadcast the day’s races live from Turfway. “Calvin Borel has a great pair of hands, and I thought it took him a full quarter of a mile to get her to relax. From there, it was just a question of whether she would get the distance. This is awesome.”
“Tom was pretty high on her,” Borel said. “He called me this morning and told me just to get her to relax, which she did. She overcame being caught a little wide. I just sat chilly on her and she took off turning for home. She was very impressive.”
Charming Vixen finished the mile in 1:40.77 over the Turfway Polytrack. She paid $8.40, $5.40, and $3.40 as the 3-1 third choice
Best of Times finished fourth, followed by Courtly Flyer, Rusticana, Little Sadie, Queen Anna, and the 9-5 favorite Rainbow Blossom, who misbehaved in the gate enough to delay the start of the race. Flashy Lassie and Tavern on the Bay both were early scratches. Victorian Diva was scratched on the advice of State Veterinarian Will Farmer after she flipped in the paddock and appeared to strike her head on the rubber pavers. Farmer reported later that her injuries did not appear to be life threatening.
The Tiznow Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies was Charming Vixen’s fourth career start. In addition to the win, she has two seconds and one third for owner Gold Mark Farm LLC and has earned $82,410. The 2-year-old filly is by Bernstein out of Sadler’s Charm, by Honour and Glory, and was bred in Kentucky by Joseph La Combe Stables Inc.