Race of the Week 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Hansen Retired

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 Travers.


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 


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Older Comments about Hansen Retired...

Johnny Nerud would say that Training methods and lack of racing seasoning coupled with excessive use of race day Meds contribute to the fragility of horses today. Then you add poor breeding practices with an emphasis on speed over stamina and you have a recipe for disaster.
Enjoyed the ride with Hansen's career,over too soon as with a great many of our 3 year olds.Personally, I admired the showmanship...it was good for ticket sales, the media and the casual fan and did not appear to affect Hansen health or safety.
As a former owner, I came in contact with many trainers and owners, who had the same opinion as I. the distance is not aways the problem, unless you are pushing a horse whose pedigree profile is running short. Most trainers agree, that the longer distance is a little kinder, since the horse is not running full out, as he would be in a sprint. The gene profile , also has to be considered..
None of good horses lasted. Every single one has been retired due to some health problems. What the hell is going on with racehorses nowadays?
Too bad. Liked watching his races.
Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, Who's the fairest of them all? Hansen ofcoarse, that beautiful horse. The evil witch swooped down, and ruined I'll Have Another's shot at the crown. From her lips spewed a curse to destroy them all, one after another, our 3 year old crop did fall. Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, Who's going to be the greatest sire of them all? Hansen ofcoarse, that beautiful horse.
Something is wrong, either with training tactics or the tracks themselves. This is ridiculous that all these horse's are almost having the same issue's. I've been in the sport most of my life and I've never seen so many injuries at one time. Bad training or bad race track footing?
I am so saddened by this. All our heros are gone. I hope their frailties are considered by owners of mares
  • notobsessed · I makes me sad too that almost all of my favorites are injured or retired. Kind of dampens my enthusiasm a bit, but maybe that's because I am kind of new to the sport · 1952 days ago
I've been missing him for awhile now. All time faves (he and Rachel Alexandra) I do really hope he can stay in close proximity to Dr. Hansen, I believe he truly cares about him.
  • karen.sweatman.9 · Love this pony, so handsome, always brought it, what a shame. I think some old gypsy put a curse on our 3 year old crop. I've never seen a year like this one, we've lost nearly every 3 year old. It's scary, is this going to be the new normal? If so, it's the beginning of the end for the sport. Good Luck doc. He will be missed. · 1953 days ago
He was a monster @ 7 f or a mile should have stuck to those distances might still be racing !!!!!!
He was a monster @ 7 f or a mile should have stuck to those distances might still be racing !!!!!!
Have a happy retirement, Hansen!
everyone saw it coming though.... they are dropping like flies
Going to miss him too, was never a huge fan, but he was a live one, & made it so much more interesting, would've been even more interesting to see how it played out for as long as he would run.
Thanks Doc, you made the correct decision. Now maybe he can hook up with Zenyatta in a year or two.
Going to miss this horse. The undefeated king of a 1 1/6 mile distance.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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