Hansen, last year's champion 2-year-old male and Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner, has been retired from racing due to a tendon injury he sustained in August, according to his breeder/co-owner, Dr. Kendall Hansen. The son of Tapit is stabled at Trackside Training Center in Louisville with trainer Mike Maker. Breeding plans are undecided.
Hansen last raced in the West Virginia Derby (gr. II) Aug. 4, finishing fourth. He had been scheduled to contest the Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 25 but was withdrawn because of his tendon injury.
"The injury is more extensive than when I saw him a couple weeks ago," said Dr. Hansen, who called the colt "the ride of my life."
"It's more than a little inflammation; it's a bowed tendon," Dr. Hansen said of the injury. "But he's not sore, and it doesn't hurt him. He acts like he doesn't know it's supposed to hurt him. He looks at the track and wants to get back on it."
Hansen's racing ability was evident right away. At Turfway Park in his first two starts, Hansen broke his maiden by 12 1/4 lengths and then won the Bluegrass Cat Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes by 13 1/4 lengths. In the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs, his final start of the season, he gutted out a head triumph over 11-10 favorite Union Rags. At year's end, the two shared the standard highweight of 126 pounds on the Experimental Free Handicap for males.
Placed on the Triple Crown trail, Hansen debuted with a second in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park. He then won the Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct Racetrack and finished second in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland to Dullahan in his final prep for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
In the Run for the Roses, Hansen raced close to the pace before weakening in the stretch and finishing ninth at 13-1 odds. He raced once more prior to the West Virginia Derby, romping by 10 lengths in the Iowa Derby (gr. III) in June.
Hansen, who won from 5 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/16 miles, was retired with a record of 5-2-0 from nine starts and earnings of $1,810,805.
"Hansen proved he was precocious, which is a good thing in breeding, and had miler speed," Dr. Hansen said. "He also was a champion, so there's nothing more to prove. It would have been nice to try to win another Breeders' Cup, but mother nature is telling us to pass his genes on."
Hansen, who raced part of his career for Dr. Hansen and Skychai Racing, is out of the winning Sir Cat mare Stormy Sunday.