Animal Kingdom , winner of last year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), resumed galloping on June 21 at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland as he moves toward another comeback.
The son of Leroidesanimaux out of the Acatenango mare Dalicia missed 60 days of training to recover from a hairline fracture of the ilium, a part of the pelvis. The injury required no surgery but was discovered only a week before Animal Kingdom was scheduled to depart for the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) at Meydan. He scored an impressive win on turf at Gulfstream Park in his lone start this year.
“What happened to him was really just a blip on the radar, not a serious injury at all; the timing was just horrible,” said Barry Irwin, chief executive officer of the 4-year-old colt’s owner and breeder, Team Valor International. “We’re excited to get him back. We have a goal in mind for him at the end of the year, but we don’t want to say what it is just yet.”
Since late May, trainer Graham Motion had been sending Animal Kingdom out on a grass field at Fair Hill for long jogs. The first week, the colt trained alongside Went the Day Well, who finished fourth for Team Valor in this year’s Kentucky Derby.
Animal Kingdom, who finished second in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), has run first or second in seven of eight starts and has earned $1,967,500.
As for Went the Day Well, he received a bit of down time following a disappointing 10-place finish in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Although a puzzling performance, nothing was amiss with the Proud Citizen colt afterward. He is scheduled to turn in his first workout since the race June 23.
“He just didn’t bring his game,” Irwin said. “It’s certainly not like him to throw in the towel—look what he did in the Derby when he faced all kinds of trouble—so he must have just been knocked out more from that race than anyone could have known.
“We’ve given him some time to recover and will get him ready now for Saratoga.”
Went the Day Well’s first step is likely the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga Race Course July 28, the main local prep for the Travers Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 25.
Went the Day, who is out of the Tiznow mare Tiz Maie's Day, has chalked up a record of 2-2-0 from seven starts and has earned $415,344.