Team Valor International’s Animal Kingdom galloped 1 1/2 miles on the dirt at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland June 3 in continued preparations for the June 11 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Team Valor reported that Animal Kingdom, with exercise rider David Nava aboard, backed up to the five-furlong pole accompanied by assistant David Rock aboard a stable pony, and then began his gallop.
The Leroidesanimaux colt, who won the May 7 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and finished second in the May 21 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), is scheduled to gallop again June 4 before leaving for Belmont Park June 5.
“He has trained just as good, if not better, than before the Preakness,” Rock said.
Animal Kingdom trained for the Preakness at Fair Hill and didn’t arrive at Pimlico Race Course until the day of the race. Trainer Graham Motion has said he wants the colt to get acclimated to the Belmont surface.