Hansen posted a three-length win in the $400,000 Gotham Stakes over the weekend, and in the process enhanced his credentials as one of the favorites for the Kentucky Derby. He did it with a white tail. That’s not a surprise, because the rest of Hansen is almost white, too, but it might have been a different story if the colt’s owner had gotten his wish.
Dr. Kendall Hansen, the Gotham winner’s namesake, wanted to dye Hansen’s mane and tail blue, maybe with just a bit of yellow, for the race. The color scheme would match the owner’s silks and Hansen (the human) thought the idea would generate some positive buzz for Hansen (the horse). What it generated was controversy, with people coming down on both sides of the really-tacky-or-really-clever fence.
Hansen’s potentially psychedelic tail became a non-issue when New York Racing Association stewards gave the scheme an emphatic thumbs down. While they appreciated Dr. Hansen’s desire to promote his horse and to “draw attention to horse racing in a positive and fun light,” the stewards were concerned with maintaining the “integrity of racing” and assuring the public that horse racing is a “serious business, with the horse’s safety and welfare paramount.” The stewards also were worried that allowing Hansen to race with a blue tail would generate a flood of similar requests from other owners.
Appealing the stewards’ decision or challenging it in court might have been options, but Dr. Hansen let the issue drop. End of story for now, although Hansen’s owner floated the notion that he might try the blu