Animal Kingdom to miss Dubai World Cup

Champion Animal Kingdom will miss his intended start in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup on March 31 after developing lameness in his left hind leg over the weekend at Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida.

Diagnostics are currently being performed to determine the severity of his injury, but the timing is such that Team Valor International CEO Barry Irwin and trainer Graham Motion have ruled the Kentucky Derby winner out of the trip to the Middle East. He was supposed to leave on March 20 and was generally the third choice in European advanced wagering for the $10 million race.

"This is a crushing blow for our company and our partners as well as our trainer, who has done such a great job getting the horse back to this point," Irwin said. "If he comes out of this OK, hopefully we can run in the World Cup in 2013."

Animal Kingdom was lame after working five furlongs on Saturday at Palm Meadows, his first serious drill since he won a turf allowance race at Gulfstream Park on February 18, which was his return from missing the last half of 2011 with a hairline fracture of the hock in his left hind leg.

The chestnut colt underwent surgery in late June and healed sufficiently by early September, when he returned to light training. 

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