Notable Performer & Week In Review: 9/19 - 9/25

Hansen, an overly impressive winner of the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes at Turfway, dominated juvenile headlines this past week.  I’m not completely on the bandwagon just yet// Three graded 2-year-old races this weekend. Check the upcoming section for pps and race videos// The connections of Majestic City pulled an audible by announcing he will run in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland October 8th instead of Saturday’s Norfolk (G1) at Santa Anita, which would have been an intriguing rematch with Drill and Creative Cause// Updated links for future odds and prop bets// more…

10/1/11 Norfolk S. (G1)- Santa Anita
10/2/11 Nashua S. (G2)- Belmont
10/2/11 Pilgrim (G3)- Belmont

Notable Performer

9/24/11 Kentucky Cup Juvenile S.- Turfway Park
Trainer: Michael Maker
Jockey: Victor Lebron
Chart: Equibase
Beyer/BRIS: 80/94
Video: YouTube

Thoroughbred racing fans have always been fascinated with the dominating performance.  Top-of-the-list for most is Secretariat’s 1973 Belmont Stakes romp with the classic snapshot of jockey Ron Turcotte looking over his shoulder in the stretch. The space, separation, power, and dominance of runaway victories can easily induce goose bumps and in certain instances solidify a horse’s place in racing legend.

When a 2-year-old puts on a commanding display early in his career, dreams of buyouts, roses, and legend run wild. Case-in-point is Hansen, a juvenile colt who has won his first two races by a combined 25 1/2 lengths on polytrack, including Turfway Park’s Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes last Saturday.  Praise and platitudes from the connections, fans, and turf writers soon followed.

Jockey Victor Lebron said Hansen is the best horse he’s ever ridden and could be his Kentucky Derby mount.  Wynn Las Vegas quickly made him the co-favorite of the Breeders Cup Juvenile at 6-1 (from 40-1).  Owner Kendall Hansen said Hansen is the “horse of a lifetime” and claimed the phone lines are open for anyone interested in owning a percentage.

Despite the accolades and visual performance, there are reasons to temper enthusiasm.  Hansen’s competition has been less than average.  Of the 14 horses he has faced in two races, 8 are non-winners, 5 have only graduated the maiden special ranks, and 1 has a maiden claiming win.

Matt Gardner at Down The Stretch They Come points out Hansen ran a slow final 3/16th due to his torrid opening quarter and half mile splits and may find trouble down the road.  I also agree the going could get a lot tougher if he continues to use a front-running style against better competition and on Churchill’s dirt surface.  The final piece of ammunition for all of the doubters will be Hansen’s Beyer speed figure of 80, which is merely average.

A son of 9-furlong Wood Memorial winner Tapit, Hansen is a homebred out of a Sir Cat mare. Seeing as the Kentucky Cup Juvenile was not graded, Hansen could have difficulty even making the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile field, a race that is oftentimes overfilled. The new Juvenile Sprint could be a fallback option, although his breeding and buzz warrant a try in the more prestigious race.

9/20/11 Fire On Ice BEL- 5F- 1.00:87- B- 1/10
9/20/11 Secret Circle SA- 5F- 1.00:60- B- 6/27
9/21/11  Canigotoo HOO- 4F-  48:80- B- 3/14
9/21/11 Power World BEL- 5F- 1.01:64- B- 3/5
9/21/11 Sum of the Parts CD- 4F- 49:80- B- 11/36
9/21/11 Creative Cause HOL- 5F- 1.01:20- H- 17/35
9/21/11 Majestic City HOL- 5F- 1.01:40- H- 19/35
9/23/11 Jake Mo LS- 5F- 1.04:80- B- 6/6
9/23/11 Stark Ravin Mad AP- 3F- 39:80- B- ½
9/23/11 Bay Park Boy BEL- 4F- 49:84- B- 33/59
9/24/11 Brown Eyed Jozi LAD- 5F- 1.01:20- B- 2/21
9/24/11 Union Rags FH- 4F- 48:20- B- 3/30
9/25/11 Currency Swap MTH- 4F- 50:00- B- 18/29 (Good)
9/25/11 Drill SA- 7F- 1.23:20- H- 1/2
9/25/11 Optimizer CD- 5F- 1.01:20- B- 3/12
9/25/11 State Of Play FH- 5F- 1.01:60- B- 2/4
9/26/11 Tarpy's Goal BEL- 5F- 1.02:43- B- 9/16
9/26/11 Twelve Hundred AP- 5F- 1.01:40- B- 2/8
9/26/11 Sweet Swap SA- 5F- 1.01:60- H- 37/57

2-year-olds to watch (In the Money Blog)

Non-Graded Stakes
9/24/11 Razorback Futurity- LAD- Winner: Tricky Suspect chart
9/24/11 Kentucky Cup Juvenile- TUP- Winner: Hansen see above
9/24/11 NATC Futurity- MTH- Winner: Hunt Crossing chart
9/24/11 Louisiana Stallion S- LAD- Winner: Validfromthegitgo chart
9/24/11 My Dandy Texas Stallion S.- RET- Winner: Sword Trick chart
9/25/11 George Maloof Futurity- ALB- Winner: Honshu City chart
9/25/11 Gottstein Futurity- EMD- Winner: Talk To My Lawyer chart

Speed Figures
Top winning 2yo BRIS figs last week: Sword Trick - 106; Luke of York - 100; Tricky Suspect - 98; Spring to the Sky - 98; Gemologist - 95.

Winning 2yo Beyers last week: Sword Trick - 95; Luke of York - 79; Tricky Suspect - 89; Spring to the Sky - 86; Gemologist - 75.

2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile: Wynn Las Vegas / Scores and Odds
2011 Breeders’ Cup Prop Bets: Scores and Odds
2012 Kentucky Derby: Wynn Las Vegas / GoHorseBetting