06/13/2017 10:03PM

Dual classic winner Hansel dead at 29

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Barbara D. Livingston
Hansel won both the Preakness and Belmont after losing the Kentucky Derby as the favorite.

Eclipse Award winner Hansel, who captured the 1991 Preakness and Belmont Stakes during his championship campaign, was euthanized Tuesday at Lazy Lane Farm in Upperville, Va., due to the infirmities of old age. The son of Woodman was 29 and had been pensioned since 2012.

“He was a very talented race horse, and a consummate gentleman on the farm,” Lazy Lane general manager Frank Shipp said. “He gave so much to us, and to his fans. We will all miss him dearly.”

At the time of his death, Hansel was the oldest living winner of a Triple Crown race. The mantle now passes to 1992 Belmont Stakes winner A.P. Indy, a pensioner at Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky.

Virginia-bred Hansel, purchased for $150,000 by Lazy Lane at the 1989 Keeneland September yearling sale, came out running during his 2-year-old campaign, with victories in three of five starts, including the Grade 2 Arlington-Washington Futurity and Grade 3 Tremont. Never off the board in that season, he was also second in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes.

The following spring, Hansel shipped to Kentucky off a winter campaign in Florida that saw him finish second in the Grade 1 Florida Derby. He won the Grade 2 Jim Beam Stakes at Turfway Park in what was then track-record time, then romped by nine lengths in the Grade 2 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland. Those performances made him the favorite for the Kentucky Derby, but he finished 10th behind Strike the Gold.

Hansel rebounded to air by seven lengths in the Preakness. Three weeks later, he edged Strike the Gold by a head in the Belmont.

Hansel spent the rest of the summer targeting the major Grade 1 events for his division, finishing third in the Haskell Invitational, then was second by a head to Corporate Report in the Travers Stakes, emerging from the latter with a career-ending tendon injury. He concluded his career with a record of 14-7-2-3 and earnings of $2,936,586

Hansel spent the first five years of his stud career at Gainsborough Farm in Kentucky, moved to Questroyal in New York for two seasons, and was later sold to Japanese interests. In 2005, Hansel was re-purchased by Lazy Lane's Joe Allbritton and returned to his home state of Virginia, breeding mares privately for several seasons before being pensioned.

Hansel sired 221 winners, including 18 stakes winners, and had career progeny earnings of more than $19.7 million. His top runners included millionaire Guided Tour, winner of the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap, and French Group 1 winner and highweight Loving Claim.

He also sired millionaire Group 2 winner Fruits of Love thrived in England during a globetrotting four seasons of racing, scoring his biggest wins there and also placing in Group 1 company at the renowned Royal Ascot meeting. He was also a stakes winner in Dubai, Grade/Group 1 placed in North America and Germany, Group 3 placed in Ireland, and raced in France and Hong Kong. Hansel also sired Grade 2 winners Magellan and Quantum Merit.