Animal Kingdom, winner of the 2013 Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1) and 2011 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), got his first winner March 8 in Australia when Arrowfield's homebred filly Earth Angel won at first asking over 1,200 meters (about six furlongs) at Ballarat.
The imposing chestnut filly stretched out in the home straight to score by a half-length from Holy Mind with 2 1/4 lengths more back to Super Snob, according to a report from Arrowfield, where Darley's 9-year-old son of Leroidesanimaux entered stud in 2013. Earth Angel's final time was 1:12.56.
Jockey Damien Oliver said, "She is doing it on raw ability at the moment...She got a little whack over the head with the whip accidentally coming to the turn in a bit of a tight gap there, which just balked her a little bit. She was full of running coming to the line and the further she went, the stronger she got."
Like her champion dam Miss Finland (by Redoute's Choice), Earth Angel is trained by David Hayes, now operating in partnership with his son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig. Miss Finland also won the first race in her stellar, $4.6 million career that included victories in the 2006 AAMI Golden Slipper, Crown Oaks, and three other group 1 races.
Earth Angel is Miss Finland's sixth foal and third winner after Stay With Me (winner of the Schweppes Thousand Guineas, G1) and stakes-placed winner Woodbine. Her yearling colt by Dundeel was bought by Boomer Bloodstock for AU$900,000 (US$663,210) at January's Magic Millions Sale. Miss Finland is now in foal to Japan's supersire Deep Impact.
Both David Hayes and managing owner John Messara confirmed that Earth Angel will not be rushed along this season and, if all goes well, her next start will be April 8 in the 1,600-meter (about one mile) Fernhill Handicap listed stakes at Randwick on the second day of The Championships.
Arrowfield owner John Messara told Racing.com, "Everything about her indicates she is going to be a filly that will develop into a serious 3-year-old. Her sire Animal Kingdom is a Derby winner and anything that his progeny are doing at 2 is simply a bonus.
"Earth Angel is still learning but what I liked most about her win was the last 50 meters, she exploded through the line, we think she is pretty special."
In addition to Earth Angel, Animal Kingdom has had four placegetters including Momentum To Win in Sydney and another Arrowfield filly, Desert Flower.
The sire has 11 second-crop yearlings on offer at the upcoming Inglis Easter Sale, among them two colts out of the Aga Khan mares Vadaiyma and Zarakiysha, the daughter of a half sister to multiple U.S. champion Beholder, and a filly descended from champion mare and great producer Horlicks.