Many of the sons and daughters of the stallion Tapit are gray or roan in color, but Hansen is nearly white, which is rare for a Thoroughbred.
The speedy colt, bred and named by his co-owner Dr. Kendall Hansen, showed great promise as a two-year-old and won his first race by 12¼ lengths. Fifteen days later, he easily defeated the competition in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile by 13¼ lengths. Hansen burst to the lead in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and held off heavily favored Union Rags by a head.
The Breeders' Cup victory led to his finishing first in the voting for the Eclipse Award as champion two-year-old male. Hansen's unbeaten record ended in the Holy Bull Stakes on January 29 at Gulfstream when he stumbled at the start and finished second to Algorithms. He improved his record to four wins from five career starts with a three-length victory in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct on March 3 before finishing second in the Blue Grass Stakes in his final prep for the Kentcuky Derby.
Hansen pressed the pace from third in the Kentucky Derby and battled gamely in the stretch before fading late to finish ninth.