A look at the 2012 Arkansas Derby and 2012 Blue Grass Stakes

Churchill Downs site of the Kentucky Derby

The 2012 Kentucky Derby prep races are winding down. This weekend gave us the Blue Grass Stakes and the Arkansas Derby.

In the hours leading up to the running of the 2012 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland this weekend, the color of Hansen’s tail took over most conversations. In the fact that his tail was no longer its natural grey or white, but was instead a vivid ‘wildcat blue’.

Lindsay Hunter of Silverstone Equicenter says she dyed the lower half of Hansen’s tail, a royal blue which is the same color featured prominently at the University of Kentucky.

The Kentucky stewards heard rumors about this and met with Hansen’s owner, Dr. Kendall Hansen and trainer Mike Maker prior to the running of the Blue Grass and the dye was washed out of the tail prior to the race.
We will never know if the uproar over the tail caused any change in the outcome of the race.

Dullahan came down the stretch in the center of the racetrack, running down Hansen to win. Hansen was second followed by Even the Score. Dullahan is a half-brother to 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine that Bird.

“He switched leads, and he just exploded,” said Kent Desormeaux, Dullahan’s jockey. “As soon as he straightened (turning for home), there was a hole. He ran through that and then he said, ‘Now what I do?’ And I asked him to keep going. He was very strong all the way to the wire.”

“He did everything that a good horse has to do to win,” said Dale Romans, Dullahan’s trainer. “When it’s time to accelerate (Desormeaux) had enough horse to split through. He gets the job done. He’s just a special horse. “He looked great to me. I don’t think the (1 1/4-mile) distance (of the Derby) will be a problem. The further the better.”

The Arkansas Derby was a 1-2 for trainer Bob Baffert. His son’s namesake, Bodemeister led wire to wire to win the Oaklawn Park race. Bodemeister needed the victory in the Arkansas Derby to have enough graded stakes earnings to get to the 2012 Kentucky Derby. Secret Circle, who ran second in the race already has enough graded stakes earnings to get into the Kentucky Derby.

Now we know a few more horses that will be in the 2012 Kentucky Derby. With only three weeks to the Derby, the owners of Kentucky Derby contenders will be scrambling for 2012 Kentucky Derby tickets for family and friends. Those on the Kentucky Derby Tours are able to just study the stats to figure out the 2012 Kentucky Derby winner!