Dullahan mowed down the heavy favorite Hansen in the stretch to win the 88th running of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.
Hansen took advantage of his inside post-position and took the lead when none of the other speed horses challenged for the lead and took the first quarter-mile in a brisk :23.10.
Long shot Politicallycorrect, Hero of Order and Gung Ho were the stalkers while Dullahan ran no less that 12 lengths beating just two horses.
Hansen kept dictating the pace with fast fractions of :46.64 and 1:11.32.
Long shot Gung Ho was the first to attack Hansen at the three-quarter mile pole. At this point Dullahan started his move from 10th place about 10 lengths behind and with a lot of traffic to get through.
As they turned for home, Hansen had repelled Gung Ho's challenge and Dullahan was still behind horse about seven lengths behind.
But once jockey Kent Desormeaux found a seam between Howe Great and Midnight Crooner, he asked Dullahan to change hands and he took off.
Dullahan ran down Hansen with half-a-furlong to go and drew away to win by just over a length. Gung Ho was a surprising third and was followed home by Holy Candy and Howe Great.
The final time was a stakes record 1:47.94 that on this synthetic track is on-par with what Gemologist did on the Wood Memorial.
Hansen had no excuses today, he took the lead and while the fractions were fast, he had no one to challenge him up front.
Give credit to Dullahan who ran through traffic and got to the leader with plenty on the tank which shows he can get to the Kentucky Derby distance and more.
This was Dullahan's second race of the year after finishing second to Howe Great on Mar. 10 at the Palm Beach Stakes (G3) over the Gulfstream Park turf. He now is a perfect two-for-two here at Keeneland but has demonstrated he can run well over dirt as well.
Dullahan, who is a half-brother to 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine that Bird, had a superb workout (5F - :57 2/5) for this race that showed he was ready for this move forward today.
Now, both Dullahan and Hansen are headed for the Derby in three weeks but with definitely different views now. Dullahan now looks like a top contender, while Hansen has questions to answer and will have a tough time to show he can win at the 10 furlongs.
Blue Grass Stakes | Grade I | Purse $750,000 | Distance: 9 furlongs | Final Time: :1:47.94
|6||Dullahan||Kent J. Desormeaux||$8.40||$3.60||$3.00|
|4||Hansen||Ramon A. Dominguez||$3.00||$2.60|
|2||Gung Ho||Edgar S. Prado||$9.20|
|Also ran: 9 - Holy Candy , 10 - Howe Great , 3 - Prospective , 1 - Heavy Breathing , 8 - Midnight Crooner , 13 - Scatman, 11 - Ever So Lucky , 5 - Russian Greek , 7 - Politicallycorrect , 12 - Hero of Order|
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