Animal Kingdom Has First Work at Fair Hill

Animal Kingdom Has First Work at Fair Hill
Photo: Rick Samuels
Animal Kingdom
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Animal Kingdom  , winner of the 2011 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), had his first workout Dec. 24 since being sidelined in late spring.

Owner Team Valor International reported the 3-year-old colt by Leroidesanimaux   worked three furlongs in :38 at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland. He worked in company in his breeze around the far turn of the one-mile surface.

“It was like an open gallop for him,” trainer Graham Motion said. “The track was in great shape today. He went in company just to keep his mind on business. I thought he handled it well.”

Team Valor plans on racing Animal Kingdom, who also finished second in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), in the March 31 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I). Motion said he'd like the colt to first race in February in Florida or in a later prep at Meydan in Dubai.

The Gulfstream Park Handicap is an option.

“It’s all up to the colt and how quickly he gets himself into shape,” Motion said. “He is a big horse and he grew during his layoff."

Motion may end up keeping Animal Kingdom in training in Maryland rather than shipping him to his Florida base at Palm Meadows Training Center. He said it depends on the weather in the Northeast.

Animal Kingdom was injured at the start of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). He had surgery to stabilize a non-displaced hairline fracture of a hind leg.

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