Team Valor International’s Animal Kingdom arrived at Pimlico Race Course for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) May 21 and got settled into the stakes barn at the Maryland racetrack.
The Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner made the roughly one-hour trip from Fair Hill Training Center as the lone equine passenger in a Cooper Horse Transportation van. He walked off the van at about 6:50 a.m. EDT with strings of photographers on either side of the walkway and made his way to stall 40, which is reserved for the Derby winner.
Animal Kingdom, accompanied by assistant trainer David Rock, walked the shedrow soon after and posed for some photographs. Trainer Graham Motion opted to keep the colt at Fair Hill until the morning of the Preakness, which is scheduled for 6:18 p.m.
Animal Kingdom, a Kentucky homebred by Leroidesanimaux out of the Acatenango mare Dalicia, seemed no worse for wear from his journey. He calmly observed spectators as he exited the van and made his rounds in the barn.
Thomas McClay and Harry Nye’s Norman Asbjornson and Linda Gaudet and Morris Bailey’s Concealed Identity arrived at Pimlico May 21 from the nearby Bowie Training Center. The Maryland-based horses arrived on separate vans before Animal Kingdom.
The early Saturday morning weather in Baltimore was fantastic, and it was expected to last all day. Weather forecasts are calling for sunshine and a high temperature near 80 degrees.
In early wagering on the Preakness, Dialed In, Animal Kingdom, and Mucho Macho Man were taking the most action. Dialed In finished eighth and Mucho Macho Man third in the Kentucky Derby.
The Pimlico dirt track, which began drying out in earnest May 20, already was listed as fast as of 8 a.m. The turf course, rated yielding May 20, figures to contain some moisture Preakness day after a week of on-and-off rain.