03/07/2012 1:21PM

Hansen: a photographer's dream


Has there ever been a year when the top two Derby contenders - 1-2 in last year's championship voting - were so visually captivating?  Here's the alabaster beauty HANSEN, last year's juvenile champ, romping in the Gotham at Aqueduct this past weekend.  How could a person help but be smitten?!  Oo-la-la!!!

Above:  In the paddock, Mike Maker (L) and Kendall Hansen - whose shirt read "THE GREAT WHITE HOPE - 05.05.12."


Above:  Ramon and Hansen are all smiles heading onto the track.

Above:  Whoopsie!  Wrong direction, Hansen!  As if the 12-hole weren't bad enough, Hansen breaks outwardly.


Above/below:  Hansen seems a white vision as he zooms past the wire the first time by.

Hansen and Ramon are on cruise control at the finish line, three lengths clear of runner-up My Adonis.  Hansen's squarely back into everyone's Derby picture, too, setting up some great possibilities for this year's classics.

Above:  It's always nice to see Ramon aboard - a class act!

Above:  Part-owner Harvey Diamond leads Hansen into the winner's circle. 

Above:  Among those joining Hansen in the winner's circle are Kendall Hansen (L, blue shirt) and Harvey Diamond (R).  Below, Kendall Hansen fields questions after the race.   I'd guess number of microphones and recorders will just keep multiplying as the weeks pass.

Above/below:  A victorious Hansen heads to the test barn after the race.  Congratulations, champ!  Here's to many more victories (and photo ops)!

Hansen's Gotham Stakes replay: http://www.drf.com/events/gotham-stakes-aqueduct

Hansen's Breeders' Cup Juvenile: http://www.drf.com/news/breeders-cup-juvenile-hansen-upsets-union-rags-tight-finish

Margaret Burlingham More than 1 year ago
He looks like a beautiful, white apparition but his eyes reflect his determination and toughness. Thank you for the fantastic photographs.
Marcia D More than 1 year ago
His Arabian ancestry sure shows. Slightly dished face and head carriage. Incredibly beautiful. Thanks for these wonderful pictures.
Sue Macphee-Gray More than 1 year ago
Wonderful pictures Barbara (and a wonderful subject :)
Sharon Call More than 1 year ago
Barbara, what beautiful work as usual. You spoil all of us out here that don't get to actually go to the races. There aren't any tracks in Georgia. BTW, what's this about YRA wanting to paint his tail blue? Why in the world would anyone want to do that? That's just crazy!
Matthew Karns More than 1 year ago
He really looks as if he is chiseled out of marble. What a beautiful colt! I adore both him and Union Rags-going to be so tough routing for one or the other this Triple Crown season.
Conrad More than 1 year ago
Now, aren't we all glad NYRA didn't let them paint this colt's tail blue? Imagine how silly he'd look in these fine photos.
Don Passidomo More than 1 year ago
Oh BL, you are so right, wonderful, he is such a gem..may want to shoot "Gemologist" as he makes his road to the KD as well....thanks so much..reminds me of a young Gandolf the wizard, that eye! Gentle yet so powerful, looks like such a good boy as well, he does deserve favour! Don
Barbara Livingston More than 1 year ago
Thanks so much to everyone who's commented!!! I love that other people enjoy seeing these magnificent horses, too.... Hansen makes photography easy.
deborah More than 1 year ago
He is absolutely beautiful. I have several of your books, so i always appreciate your fine work! and i enjoy nothing so much as seeing a beautiful and talented horse captured with all four feet off the ground-when they 'take flight'. keep them coming!
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Deborah & Barbara ... catching a horse in 'flight' like that is sooo cool ! Add a large pair of wings and you have a modern day 'Pegasus" Barbara ...keep up the superb work ! DRF is much the better having you on board. SR Vegas
laura ban More than 1 year ago
To SR VEGAS: Isn't that the truth! - total class! She has no equal!
Kristen Neiding More than 1 year ago
What's the elastic looking thing that's on his bridle and inside his top lip? it's there in the post parade and not during the race. Does it have something to do his behavior in the starting gate?
Barbara Livingston More than 1 year ago
Hi Kristen, That odd thing is a relaxant (as weird as it looks) for a horse...it distracts them somehow when it's placed under their lip and over the gums. If I recall, it releases endorphins... I remember Lukas using them first (although I'm sure people did before his time, too) in the early '90s...and we thought, "God forbid other trainers start using those hideous things!" I've seen quite a few horses with them before races, such as Wilkes and Mott trainees...but they sure aren't pretty in photos. Thanks for your interest!
Roseann Cherasaro More than 1 year ago
He is just so ethereal..Barbara the shots are great .done with a great subject and an artists eye.Thank you for posting these!!!!.