The recent winner of the Eclipse Award for best two-year-old colt, Hansen, is on track to make his 2012 debut at the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes on January 29th.
The three-year-old son of Tapit out of Stormy Sunday by Sir Cat, is owned by Dr. Kendall Hansen and Sky Chai Stable, trained by Michael Maker.
He won the Grey Goose Breeders Cup Juvenile last year by a head over then favorite Union Rags, and it was one length back to third-place finisher Creative Cause.
Union Rags again was second to Hansen last Monday at the Eclipse Awards voting.
The nominations for the 25th running of the Holy Bull stakes closed this past Saturday Jan. 14th with 52 horses nominated for the race.
Among the notable horses nominated to the races are the Gulfstream Park Derby's winner and runner-up, Reveron and Casual Trick, highly touted Todd Pletcher prospect Algorithms, and trainer Kelly J. Breen's My Adonis.
The one-mile race is run at Gulfstream Park, is limited to 14 Starters, with also eligible. It has a guaranteed purse of $400,000, and horses finishing first, second or third in the Holy Bull will automatically be nominated to the Florida Derby.
This race is the first Kentucky Derby prep at Gulfstream. Usually those horses finishing at the top, follow it up with the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth and then the Grade 1 Florida Derby. Last year Dialed In won the Holy Bull on his way to winning the Florida Derby.
He then went in as the 5-1 favorite in the Kentucky Derby, but finish in a non-factor and disappointing eight-place.
But there have been two horses that won the Holy Bull and went on to win the Kentucky Derby. Go Fo Gin in 1994 and Barbaro in 2006.
Coincidentally, Barbaro's trainer was Michael Matz—the trainer for Union Rags.
Let's see who will Hansen emulate.