Cahill Chrome ~ Classy Californian
Pedigree: Cahill Road-Takes Two to Mango by Bold Badgett
Owner: Roger Hansen Trainer: Roger Hansen Jockey: Rohan Singh
If the Manitoba Lotteries Derby were decided on class alone, Cahill Road would be the pick.
The long, sleek 3-year-old chestnut gelding by 1991 Wood Memorial (G1) winner Cahill Road finished a good second in the $100,000 California Derby earlier this year and has faced some salty rivals in his 15-race career including El Camino Real Derby (G3) winner Daddy Nose Best. He’s held his own too, winning once on the dirt at Fresno and twice over the synthetic surface at Golden Gate Fields in San Francisco.
Originally purchased for $13,500 at a Pleasanton, California yearling sale by Kjell Qvale, the now-retired founder of British Motors and a longtime member of the Pacific Racing Association that owned Golden Gate Fields, Cahill Chrome was recently sold to Qvale’s long-time private trainer Roger Hansen, who also happens to have a local connection.
Hansen raced horses at Assiniboia Downs in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s with his father Dale Hansen, and married Rosser, Manitoba horsewoman Shirley Jewell 23 years ago. The couple now has three children and they have been quietly grinding out a beautiful living with thoroughbred racehorses from their ranch in Idaho.
Originally from Lewiston, Utah, Hansen cut his teeth training horses in Utah and worked for some of the best trainers in California before going out on his own again and eventually taking the job as private trainer for Qvale over 20 years ago. During that time, Qvale campaigned some of Northern California's finest horses including Hollywood Derby (G1) winner Silveyville and San Felipe Handicap (G1) winner Variety Road.
Local fans might remember Hansen for a horse he trained named Mc Fig, who finished second to Jan Artic in the 1992 Manitoba Derby. Or through his late brother Ron, one of Canada’s best ever jockeys who went on to become an elite rider on the Northern California circuit.
One of the sharpest horsemen you’ll ever see in these parts, Hansen brought a small stable to the Downs this year, and has since enhanced it with a number of purchases from Qvale, who recently retired from horseracing.
Slated to be ridden by local leading rider Rohan Singh, Cahill Chrome finished fifth beaten 3 ¼-lengths in his most recent start on June 16 in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race on the turf at Golden Gate. Two starts back, he finished sixth beaten seven lengths over the same surface in the $75,000 Alcatraz Stakes. Turf has a way of keeping horses sound, and according to Hansen, this fit natural speed horse will run all day.
In other words, beware.