In a year where the 3-year-old crop seems snake-bitten, it is hard to believe that just 10 months ago an amazing battle was seen at Churchill Downs. While Hansen and Union Rags took the spotlight with their head-to-head battle, the 2-year-old crop left the race looking more promising than racing has seen in years. In fact, 11 of the 13 horses in that race have won graded stakes races this year.
Let's take a look at what the colts have been up to since November 5, 2011.
While Prospective finished last in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, he came back in 2012 with a vengeance. His first of four wins this year was in the Pasco Stakes in January and until August, he raced at least once a month.
He did throw in three bad races in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Gr. I), Kentucky Derby (Gr. I) and Jim Dandy (Gr. II), but he has won multiple graded stakes with the Tampa Bay Derby (Gr. II) and Ohio Derby (Gr. III).
Prospective has not raced since July 28, but he breezed five furlongs at Woodbine on September 17.
The European invader didn't do too well in last year's race when Daddy Long Legs finished second to last. He had the same result in this year's Kentucky Derby, finishing last in the race.
While Daddy Long Legs hasn't done too well overall this year, he did win the U.A.E. Derby (Gr. II) during the Dubai World Cup day in March. He last raced on September 8 at Leopardstown where he finished sixth.
Alpha had a rough trip in the Juvenile, attempting to flip over in the gate before running a disappointing 11th.
In 2012, he had raced seven times with four wins for $1,180,000 in earnings. He started the year with a victory in the ungraded Count Fleet Stakes and followed it up with his first career graded stakes win in the Withers Stakes (Gr. III).
Alpha finished 12th in the Kentucky Derby (Gr. I), then strung two high-profile wins together in the Jim Dandy (Gr. II) and Travers Stakes (Gr. I), where he dead-heated with Golden Ticket.
Alpha last ran in the Pennsylvania Derby (Gr. II) on September 22, he finished sixth.
After his 10th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Drill finished seventh, ninth and fifth before finally winning again in the San Vicente Stakes (Gr. II), he then finished second in the Northern Spur. His last race was a win in the Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes (Gr. III) on May 12.
He has not worked in the last 60 days, but he has not officially been retired.
Speightscity is one of only two horses not to win a graded stakes since the Juvenile. In the five races he's run since the Breeders' Cup, he has only finished on the board twice. In December, he won an Allowance Optional Claiming event and in February, he finished second in the Withers Stakes (Gr. III). After a long break, he returned in late August to finish eighth in the Travers Stakes (Gr. I).
He worked out on September 20 over five furlongs at Belmont Park.
Optimizer may be the most-raced horse on this slideshow with 11 starts in 2012.
The colt placed second in the Rebel Stakes (Gr. II) in February, but until late August, his number wasn't seen on the board again.
Optimizer was put on turf for an Allowance Optional Claimer on May 25, his first win in over a year. He followed that up on September 22 with a win in the Kent Stakes (Gr. III), his first career stakes win.
Since the Juvenile, Fort Loudon has turned into a nice sprinter.
During the late spring and summer of this year, Fort Loudon won three sprint stakes, including the Carry Back Stakes (Gr. III). Most recently, he was second to Willy Beamin in the Foxwoods King's Bishop Stakes (Gr. I).
He last worked on September 22 at Saratoga over four furlongs.
Since the Juvenile, the other European invader, Crusade has only run once.
Crusade was last seen in late may at Curragh where he finished 11th for Aidan O'Brien and the Coolmore group.
Take Charge Indy returned to the races after his fifth place finish in the Juvenile in January with a second in an Allowance Optional Claimer event. However, he followed that up with a win in the Florida Derby (Gr. I) over the highly regarded Union Rags.
Take Charge Indy was injured in the Kentucky Derby and required surgery, but returned to the work tab on September 16 and last worked on September 24 at Churchill Downs.
Dullahan is regarded as one of the top 3-year-olds on the track right now. He also has a unique situation as all three of his career wins, including two this year, come in Grade One events.
Dullahan's record since the Juvenile is by no means consistent, but he did manage a second in the Palm Beach Stakes (Gr. III) in March and a third in the Kentucky Derby (Gr. I). In addition to those races, he has finished first in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Gr. I) against 3-year-olds and the TVG Pacific Classic Stakes (Gr. I) against elders in late August.
He is scheduled to run in the Jamaica in his next start, his first time on turf since the Palm Beach.
Creative Cause finished third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile by a length and has continued trucking along into 2012. His next start after the Juvenile was the San Vicente Stakes (Gr. II) and his first win of the season came in the San Felipe Stakes (Gr. II). He followed that up with a second behind eventual Kentucky Derby (Gr. I) winner I'll Have Another in the Santa Anita Derby (Gr. I).
Creative Cause finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby (Gr. I) and third in the Preakness Stakes (Gr. I) before taking the summer off after five starts from February to May. He returned to the work tab in late summer with his last work on September 14.
After finishing second in the Juvenile by a head, Union Rags took three months off before returning to the races in Florida and winning the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (Gr. II). He then finished third in the Florida Derby (Gr. I) and seventh in the Kentucky Derby (Gr. I). His Triple Crown potential was realized in the Belmont Stakes (Gr. I) when he won the race by a neck over Paynter.
Union Rags was retired over the summer and will stand stud at Lane's End in 2013.
After his Breeders' Cup Juvenile win, Hansen was named the Eclipse 2-Year-Old Male Champion. He came back in late January to finish second in the Holy Bull Stakes (Gr. III) before winning the Gotham Stakes (Gr. III) in early March.
Hansen's last prep of the Kentucky Derby season was the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Gr. I), where he finished second. The Kentucky Derby saw the hype die around the "ghost" horse when he finished ninth in the race.
However, Hansen made his "Derby Dreams" come true in a different way by winning the Iowa Derby (Gr. III) almost two months later. His last race was the West Virginia Derby (Gr. II) where he finished fifth.
Hansen was retired in September with a tendon injury. It has not yet been announced where he will stand.