There is "less than a 10% chance" Hansen, the 2011 champion 2-year-old male who was withdrawn from the Travers Stakes due to a tendon injury, could ever return to competition, according to his breeder and majority owner, Dr. Kendall Hansen.
"We are proceeding as if he is retired," Dr. Hansen said Aug. 27 after the gray son of Tapit was examined by Dr. Alan Ruggles at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington. "It [injury] was more extensive than we thought."
Earlier in the day Aug. 27, Dr. Hansen said he was negotiatiing with some breeding farms that would be open to allowing Hansen stand at stud next spring and then return to the races in the late summer. He said that of the five farms he was talking to about the colt's future, two were amenable to the dual-career approach.
But that all changed after the exam by Ruggles, Dr. Hansen said, noting that the severity of the injury indicated it was probably there before his fourth-place finish in the Aug. 4 West Virginia Derby, his final career start. On Aug. 22, trainer Mike Maker withdrew Hansen from the Aug. 25 Travers after the tendon injury was detected.
Owned by Dr. Hansen and Skychai Racing, Hansen was undefeated as a 2-year-old including a win in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile. This year he added two Grade 3 victories to his resume from six starts: the Gotham Stakes earlier in the season after running second in the Holy Bull Stakes, and the Iowa Derby June 30.
Between those wins were a runner-up finish to Dullahan in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes and a ninth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby. On Aug. 26, Dullahan won his third career grade I stakes when he shipped to Del Mar and rallied to win the TVG Pacific Classic.