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Jul 06, 2012

Hansen rolls to victory in Iowa Derby


Altoona, IA (Sports Network) - Champion colt Hansen took the lead at the start and never looked back in winning Saturday's $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows. Ridden by Ramon Dominguez, Hansen covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.01 on a fast track.

Trained by Mike Maker, Hansen was sent off as the 1-10 favorite in the five horse field of three-year-olds. Alsvid, a two-time stakes winner at Prairie Meadows, was the 7-1 second selection.

Making his first start since a disappointing ninth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, Hansen broke from the inside post, assumed the lead from the gate and proceeded to set a slow pace.

Dominguez had the Eclipse Award winner setting easy fractions with Alsvid sitting off his shoulder. Racing in third was Louisiana Derby champ Hero of Order followed by Truetap and Macho Bull.

Around the final turn Hansen began to draw away from his four rivals and outdistanced the field by 10 lengths when he hit the wire. Hero of Order, 21-1 at post-time, finished second followed by Macho Bull, Truetap and Alsvid.

Owned by Dr. Kendall Hansen and Skychai Racing, the nearly all white colt notched his fifth career win in eight starts and picked up $150,000 for his trouble. Overall, Hansen has banked $1,773,305.

Hansen and Dominguez first teamed up to win last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs. In March they won the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct between second-place results in the Holy Bull and Blue Grass Stakes. The Run for the Roses finish proved a bit of a mystery to the colt's trainer.

"Ramon had him in a great spot and he had every chance if we were good enough. We weren't good enough," Maker said earlier. "Turning for home it looked like we were in a good spot but couldn't make up any ground at the eighth pole."

The champion's summer schedule could include the Jim Dandy, Haskell, Travers or Pennsylvania Derby.

Hansen returned $2.20 and $2.20, and Hero of Order paid $6.20. There was no show wagering.

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