On Saturday afternoon at Keeneland Race Course, a field of 13 three-year-olds contested the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1), the major local prep for the Kentucky Derby and one which has yielded many Derby winners in the past. A record crowd of 40,617 was on hand enjoying sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 70's, sending Gotham (G3) winner Hansen off as the 6-5 choice over 3-1 Dullahan, runner-up in the Palm Beach (G3), and Howe Great, winner of the Palm Beach and the Kitten's Joy.
Jockey Ramon Dominguez sent the favorite Hansen to the lead first time past the stands and he set quick fractions of 23.10, 46.64, and 1:11.32 while stalked by 32-1 Gung Ho and 31-1 Midnight Crooner. On the far turn, Hansen extended his lead, opening up a 2 1/2 length advantage at the 1/8 pole through 1 mile in 1:35.46. However, Dullahan, who was 11th and almost 7 lengths back early, closed with a rush on the outside, passing Hansen inside the 1/16 pole to win by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:47.94 over the fast Polytrack. It was another 2 1/2 lengths back to Gung Ho third.