03/07/2012 12:21PM

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