The tumultuous racing career of Hansen
is over. The flashy gray colt, who burst on to the racing scene with a win the
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in only his third lifetime start after winning his first
two races at Turfway Park by more than 25 lengths combined, has been retired.
The announcement was made by owner and breeder, Dr. Kendall Hansen and is the
result of a tendon injury that kept him from an expected date in this year’s
Hansen took the racing world by storm
last year when his perfect record in three races including an exciting victory
over Union Rags in the Breeders’ Cup carried him to an Eclipse Award as 2011’s Champion Juvenile. This year would prove to be less successful,
but with the help of his less than shy owner, he remained a horse that was
constantly talked about.
His undefeated streak ended this year
in his seasonal debut with a second in the G3 Holy Bull to Algorithms at
Gulfstream Park. Hansen fans were given renewed hope for him as a Kentucky Derby
contender with a strong win in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct in his next start, but a return
to Kentucky did not prove kind to the son of Tapit. First he was swept past
by Dullahan in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes, before tiring to finish ninth in
the 2012 Kentucky Derby.
Along the way Dr. Hansen kept busy with
a promise to have Hansen run with a blue tail in his races. Rules were broken,
tails were dyed, and then washed out, and arguments between his owner and
trainer, Mike Maker, kept Hansen on the news pages and Youtube throughout the spring.
A summer campaign was kicked off the
right way, as Hansen won the Grade 3 Iowa Derby by 10 lengths, but then met with disappointment at Mountaineer Park. In what would turn out to be his final
career start, Hansen checked in fourth as a big favorite in the Grade 2 West
Virginia. To the surprise of many Dr. Hansen still pointed his star for the
Grade 1 Travers, and another shot at the classic distance of 1 ¼ miles, but the
race was not to be, due to the tendon injury.
Hansen retires from his racing career with five wins in nine
lifetime starts, earnings of $1,810,805, and leaves behind thousands of
miniature Hansen squishy toys courtesy of Dr. Hansen. The horse will be missed ... I'll leave it up to you decide on the antics of his owner.
Squishy Toys and Photo are property of Molly Jo Rosen