Animal Kingdom, the champion 3-year-old male of 2011, continued to progress toward his 2012 debut by breezing five furlongs on turf in a quick :59 4/5 Jan. 25 at Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida.
The time was the fastest among eight horses working that distance for the son of Leroidesanimaux trained by Graham Motion for Team Valor International.
Working along with two other horses, Animal Kingdom started at least 10 lengths behind his stablemates, joined them just past the wire, and galloped out six furlongs in 1:12, according to Motion, who labeled the move as being “perfect.”
The 2011 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner has been working steadily this year in preparation for his comeback after a lengthy layoff. Animal Kingdom has not raced since his sixth-place finish in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) last June. A hairline fracture was found in his left hock afterward and he underwent surgery to stabilize the injury.
Team Valor president Barry Irwin said the 4-year-old colt is on course for his primary goal, the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 31.