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Hansen (2008 gr c by Tapit x Stormy Sunday, Sir Cat) Ashford $12,500

This stallion prospect for 2013 is part of Coolmore’s ongoing plan to conquer American racing and breeding. As linchpin of that effort, the breeding conglomerate has acquired each of the last four juvenile champions: Lookin at Lucky, Uncle Mo, Hansen, and Shanghai Bobby.

With this quartet, Coolmore and their associated breeders have a variety of bloodlines to work with, as well as a widely dispersed set of physical types that all have shown very high form early in their careers.

This is a rational plan that is almost certain to succeed.

Unbeaten as a 2-year-old in 3 starts, Hansen earned his championship with a narrow victory over division leader Union Rags (by Dixie Union), who won the 2012 Belmont Stakes and is also part of this series.

Like Uncle Mo a year earlier, Hansen showed some good form at 3 but disappointed in his main objectives: the classics and the Breeders’ Cup. Hansen’s major victories at 3 were the Gotham Stakes and Indiana Derby.

In August, the handsome gray injured his a tendon in his left foreleg while training and was eventually retired.

Nearly white and moderately refined, Hansen is quite like his famed sire Tapit, and he is another good advertisement for the best qualities of that still-improving stallion. Hansen had early maturity, speed, natural athleticism, and competitive grit.

Physically, Hansen is smaller than his sire but should be 16 hands when fully mature. He is good enough through his forelegs, possesses a good shoulder and hindquarter without looking at all freakish, and presents an overall balanced profile.

His general balance and very appealing body model make it difficult to judge his size till standing next to him, and he is a fine example of a well-made “average” horse. As such, he offers breeders a lot of potential for mating toward the norms of the breed and for adding balance or speed to their mares’ offspring.