Team Valor International’s homebred Animal Kingdom, winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) runner-up, has been cleared to resume exercising, 60 days after he underwent season-ending surgery on his left leg.
Dr. Dean Richardson of the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center was pleased with follow-up X-rays taken Sept. 2. Richardson performed the surgery June 30 to stabilize a hairline fracture of the left hock, detected in the wake of Animal Kingdom’s troubled trip in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Since then, the 3-year-old son of Leroidesanimaux has been limited to being hand-walked for 10-15 minutes each day.
Trainer Graham Motion has devised an initial schedule to prepare Animal Kingdom for the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) next March. He will begin exercising on the Aquatred at Bruce Jackson’s Fair Hill Equine Therapy Center immediately and continue through the entire month of September. In October, Animal Kingdom will jog on the track at Fair Hill, and then start galloping in November. Motion ran the regimen past Richardson, who said it made good sense.
As Animal Kingdom progresses, Motion and Team Valor CEO Barry Irwin will come up with a specific plan to get him ready for the World Cup.