Updated on 08/24/2012 2:02PM

Travers: Hansen out of race and likely to be retired with tendon injury

Barbara D. Livingston
A tendon tear could end the career of Hansen, who was the juvenile champion last year.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Hansen, last year’s 2-year-old champion, became the latest casualty in the 3-year-old division Wednesday when it was discovered that he has a partial tear of the tendon in his left foreleg. The injury not only prevented him from making Saturday’s $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga, it most likely will lead to his retirement.

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Kendall Hansen, who owns Hansen along with Jimmy Shircliff’s and Harvey Diamond’s Sky Chai Racing, said that he will seek some other opinions, but was of the mindset Wednesday morning that the colt would be retired. Hansen would join Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another, Belmont Stakes winner and Kentucky Derby seventh-place finisher Union Rags, and Derby and Preakness runner-up Bodemeister as horses that were retired before the fall of their 3-year-old season.

“If I can’t be assured he could come back 100 percent I probably won’t race him again,” Hansen said.

Among the other top 10 finishers in the Derby, Went the Day Well (fourth) is sidelined due to bruising of the cannon bone and Creative Cause (fifth) is in light training, but has not worked or raced since the Preakness. Dullahan (third) is scheduled to run in Sunday’s Pacific Classic at Del Mar while Liaison (sixth) is entered to run in Saturday’s $1 million Travers at Saratoga. Rousing Sermon (eighth) and Daddy Nose Best (10th) are both winless since the Triple Crown.

Since finishing ninth in the Kentucky Derby, Hansen won the Grade 3 Iowa Derby and, most recently, finished fourth in the West Virginia Derby. Hansen arrived in Saratoga on Monday and was preparing for a start in Saturday’s $1 million Travers. But hours before entries were to be made, Kendall Hansen received a call from trainer Mike Maker telling him there was swelling in the colt’s tendon.

“I’m heartbroken,” Hansen said. “We were supposed to be entering right now. There was no other speed in the race. We were going to put him on the lead and people thought we couldn’t go 10 furlongs and they were going to leave us alone.”

Hansen, a son of Tapit, won 5 of 9 starts, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, which capped his championship campaign of 2011 in which he went 3 for 3. He earned $1,810,805.

Hansen also won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile at 2 and the Grade 3 Gotham.


MGropenSDREADER More than 1 year ago
Just another eggshell-fragile Thoroughbred--albeit in the whitest shade of gray.
marcferrell More than 1 year ago
It is sad to see any horse have his career ended by a soft tissue injury and it happens every day, but Hansen being so public it has made the headlines. If he was mine, after the poor showing at the WV Derby I would have given him a break, sometimes when horses train well and come out and perform below expectations they are telling you that something is wrong with them. It is possible it was a freak accident and he took a bad step and his tendon bowed, or he could have been a little off and then it was aggravated during training. What I do not like about all of this is that they were trying to make him into something he was not (a long distance horse) instead of working with what they had. Even his numbers in the Iowa Derby were not that impressive to have won by 10 and they had been beaten twice at distances longer than 9 furlongs. They had all the information they needed to evaluate what was best for the horse but in my opinion decided what they wanted for themselves and in the end the horse is done.
Frank More than 1 year ago
Now I couldnt agree with you more on this one. Well said. Yes, we see it all the time horses mismanaged like this. I mean heck any bettor knew he was a 7-8.5 furlong type of horse and these people (Trainers/Owners) are suppose to know more than us? Heck, after the derby (which he shouldnt of been in), he should of rested and come back for the summer's big races at the Spa -- Amsterdam and King's Bishop, then on to the BC Dirt Mile -- Hey didnt a horse called Celeb Posse do something like that -- Maker and Hansen (the human) two of the year's biggest idiots.
Sam Shelby More than 1 year ago
Let's say for the sake of argument that the injuries are real. Why would anyone buy their babies?
marcferrell More than 1 year ago
Sam a large portion of stallions are retired with injuries. What breeders look at is the confirmation of the stallion. We evaluate, size, walk and how their legs, are made. Are they straight, crooked, are knees correct, etc. Hansen appeared to be very correct but my issue is his size, he is a smaller framed horse and not very big so the only mares he will get are the larger mares in need of smaller stallions.
Frank More than 1 year ago
marcferrell, you have proven our point. You breeders are all lost in space and are bad for horses -- you dont care about a horses genetics? so you'll chose to breed bad genes because the horse will be a fast 2yr that will make someone quick money but who cares after that. Go away and crawl back under the rock you came from under! People like you are the reason why this sport will not make it -- you just want the quick money and you dont care about anything else --
redboy More than 1 year ago
The Xtra weight from the blue paint caused the tendon injury,way togo Doc!
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
I'm sorry to hear that Hansen is retiring. He's certainly a very beautiful horse, talented as well, and it would have been fun to see him continue to blossom as a racer in the future. It's the right decision to retire him from racing. Dr. Hansen had lots of fun racing Hansen, he was certainly proud of his horse, it showed, and that was great to see. He regarded Hansen as his once-in-a-lifetime horse and I'm sure he's sad to have to retire him. As I said, Hansen is a very handsome horse, his coloring is very striking, and even the colors of his tail is unique. Unlike many, the blue streak in Hansen's tail did not bother me or freak me out in the least little bit. Hansen's streaked tail blowing in the wind was distinctive and artistic, and did no harm to anyone, including the horse. To me, it was just another factor that made Hansen interesting to watch. I wish Hansen all good fortune and a very happy life in the future - he's a nice horse, and good luck to Dr. Hansen as well. I enjoyed reading your thoughts and appreciated you sharing your enthusiasm for Hansen online with racing fans. Most owners don't do that, and I thought that was a nice marketing touch. I would like to see many more owners follow suit in the future.
denali1 More than 1 year ago
One of the things I don't understand when these so called race horse trainers ex's or assistants offer there view on certain subjects in this case Hansen. They say the trainer made a speed horse go too far and when they do it usually hurts the horse by taking to much out of them or hurting them physically. I myself own, train , and breed show horses. I am not here to knock anyone but if you are in the race industry and you know this. Why would you make a horse do something you know and feel isn't right unless your pressurized from the owner or the cash. Which are all the wrong reasons by the way. To me shame on you trainers who make these horses do things you know they shouldn't. A horse with a big hearts will give a 100% and they don't know how to say no. Do whats right with these graceful animals to me your either part of the problem or your part of the solution. If a owner ever told me to do something I know was not right. I would tell them I'm not the trainer for you and I believe me i have lost a few over the years but you know what my family continues to strive over 60 years in the business and not many can say that. If your a trainer in it just to make alot of money and have no love for the animals that feed your family shame on you.
D More than 1 year ago
$$$ is the answer to most "why" questions in this world anymore... What makes you think this is any difference?? Longer races = more money, better chance at G1, and once again more money in breeding shed.
denali1 More than 1 year ago
$$$ maybe in your world but not mine. Health, Love and Respect go along way in my world and i live good. Its a shame if you really believe the coin is real the answer.
Mable Roberts More than 1 year ago
It's good he isn't running! He would be totally creamed by this field. Can't go 10 furlongs? The horse shouldn't be going more than 7! He is a SPEED HORSE! Stop trying to make him run this distance and killing his spirit. Work with what you have, don't try to change him into something he is NOT.
Sean Ali More than 1 year ago
Did anyone hit the Pick 4 this year ? You know,... IHA, Rags, Bode, & Hansen - Or are they going for the Pick 6 ?? Probably won't be long before Vegas starts taking bets like this !
redboy More than 1 year ago
What a joke!!! They Duck and Dodge each other all year long ,find a way to win a G1 as a 2 or 3 yo against nobody and retire to stud ! Why dont they retire 3yo old geldings?
Todd Elliot More than 1 year ago
whats the doctor going to do now without all the publicity?
SteveShircliff More than 1 year ago
You are an idiot, Dr. Hansem has not done this for the publicity, he was trying to please a future fan base.
Getta Lyfe More than 1 year ago
With the declining fan base currently, there may be no future fan base.