Champion Hansel Euthanized Due to Old Age
Photo: Lydia A. Williams
Hansel was the oldest living Triple Crown classic winner

Lazy Lane Farm's Hansel, winner of the 1991 Preakness Stakes (G1) and Belmont Stakes (G1) and subsequently Eclipse Award winner as champion 3-year-old colt that season, was euthanized June 13 at his owner's farm in Upperville, Va. due to the infirmities of old age. At 29, he was the oldest living Triple Crown classic winner.

Bred in Virginia in 1988 by Marvin Little Jr., Hansel was purchased by Joe Allbritton's Lazy Lane Farm at the 1989 Keeneland September yearling sale for $150,000. After initial breaking at Lazy Lane Farm in Virginia, he received further training at Two Creek Ranch in Texas under the tutelage of Cheryl Mallow (Asmussen) before joining Frank Brothers' stable at Arlington International Racecourse, where he won his first race in June of his 2-year-old season.

Hansel won the Tremont Breeders' Cup Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park in his next start in July, then placed in the Sapling Stakes (G2) at Monmouth Park and the Hopeful Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course. He returned to Chicago to finish his juvenile campaign with a win in the Arlington-Washington Futurity (G2).

Hansel's 3-year-old season began with two starts at Gulfstream Park—a fifth in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2), followed by a third in the Florida Derby (G1). Shipped North for his next race, he annexed the Jim Beam Stakes (G2) at Turfway Park in track-record time under new rider Jerry Bailey, who remained aboard for the rest of his career. Next came a nine-length win in the Lexington Stakes (G2) at Keeneland, which resulted in favorite status for the Kentucky Derby (G1), where he finished 10th. 

The Preakness saw Hansel run out to a seven-length win in 1:54.05 for the 1 3/16-mile event, which still stands as one of the top 10 fastest times in the history of the race. Hansel then took the Belmont by a head over Derby winner Strike the Gold, earning a $1 million bonus. 

Hansel later ran third in the Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth before ending his career with a game second to Corporate Report in the Travers Stakes (G1), finishing with an injured tendon that forced his retirement. He finished with more than $2.9 million in earnings, was sold to Gainsborough Farm in Kentucky at the end of his racing career, and stood there and at Questroyal Farm in New York before being sold to Japanese interests for stud duty. 

In 2005 Hansel was re-purchased by Joe Allbritton, and returned to Lazy Lane Farm in Virginia to live out his life on the farm, breeding a few mares privately before being pensioned in 2012. He sired five group/graded winners, including French group 1  winner Loving Claim, and multiple graded stakes winner Guided Tour, who earned more than $1.9 million. He is also the broodmare sire of five group/graded winners, including Swale Stakes (G2) winner Sharp Humor.

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

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