Hansen has never won at the West Virginia Derby distance of 1 1/8 …

West Virginia Derby: Hansen hopes to punch ticket to Travers

By Marty McGee

CHESTER, W.Va. – Studious racing fans may cringe at tales of a tail, but isn’t there room for fun in this game anymore? Yes, Kendall Hansen sending over his champion colt with a blue streak in his tail may seem absurd, but when it comes to the business of running around a racetrack, suddenly all the talk about Hansen turns very serious.

Both Hansens have been denied before: the man in getting the tail painted by New York and Kentucky racing authorities, and the colt by his opposition in the Holy Bull, Blue Grass, and Kentucky Derby. But the man is a cinch to finally get his way Saturday when the Grade 2, $750,000 West Virginia Derby is run for the 43rd time at Mountaineer Racetrack, and many horseplayers will think the same of the speedy near-white colt when trainer Mike Maker sends him out against nine other 3-year-olds in the 1 1/8-mile fixture.

“Mike thinks the horse is better than he’s ever been going into any race, so I’m excited about that,” said Hansen, a northern Kentucky doctor who is a pain-management specialist.

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