Hansen has proven to be head and shoulders above the rest of his opponents here.

Kentucky Derby 2012 Prep Preview VIDEO: Blue Grass Stakes, Hansen

The road to Kentucky Derby 2012 winds down this Saturday, and HRN’s Master Handicapper Jarrod Horak gives you the tools to pick the Blue Grass Stakes in this new video!

Does frontrunner Hansen have a chance in the speed-stacked field? Or can closers like Tampa Bay Derby winner Prospective jump up at the end?

Get all the facts and a quick peek at the Arkansas Derby, too!


The Gr. I, $750,000 Toyota Bluegrass Stakes will be run at the Keeneland race track in Lexington, KY this Saturday, and 2011 two-year-old colt champion Hansen is the early favorite.

Hansen will be in a field of 12 very capable opponents on his last Kentucky Derby prep race, which should provide us with a better grasp on whether he is a Derby favorite of not.

Through his performances, Hansen, a son of Tapit out of the Sir Cat mare Stormy Sunday, has proven to be head and shoulders above the rest of his opponents here. Yet he still lacks the due respect of a Breeders Cup Juvenile champ and early Derby favorite.

Two-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Ramon Dominguez will once again be aboard the morning line 6/5 favorite. He comes from winning convincingly the Gr. III Gotham Stakes, where he showed, for the first time, that he can rate off the pace.

This could prove a very helpful trait for his Triple Crown aspirations.

He will have a slew of contenders that mainly are looking to secure enough graded earning to guarantee a spot on the Kentucky Derby gate on May 5th. But they wouldn’t mind taking the winner’s take of the $750,000 purse.

Hansen’s main opposition may come from Howe Great, Dullahan and Prospective.

The H. Graham Motion-trained Howe Great comes from a good-looking win at the Palm Bach Stakes over the turf at Gulfstream Park on Mar. 12. He tracked the pace setter, Scorcher, and held off a strong stretch bid from Dullahan to win by a length.

That race was at the same nine furlong distance they will be running in this race, so that gives both colts a proven experience at the distance.

For Dullahan, it was his first race since finishing fourth in the Breeders Cup Juvenile behind Hansen, Union Rags and Creative Cause. He was slowly gaining on Howe Great and should be fitter for this race.

Prospective is an improving colt who finished a well-beaten 13th to Hansen in the Breeders Cup Juvenile last year. But this year he has won two out of three races, gradually improving his Beyer figures.

On his last race, he wore the blinker-on for the first time and had his best Beyer yet (90) on his win on the Gr. III Tampa Bay Derby on Mar. 10.

Some other contenders who might be less favored than the above-mentioned horses would be Ever So Lucky, Heavy Breathing, Hero of Order and Scatman.


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