Animal Kingdom worked an easy half mile on turf in :53.44 at Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida Jan. 17, the day after he was honored with an Eclipse Award as 2011’s champion 3-year-old male. Even though the time was leisurely, it was the fastest among the 13 workers on turf that morning.
The move was the chestnut colt’s first work since arriving in South Florida.
A Team Valor International homebred, foaled and raised at Denali, Animal Kingdom hasn’t 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.
Animal Kingdom captured the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) and the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (gr. III) in 2011. A 4-year-old son of Leroidesanimaux and the Acatenango mare Dalicia, he has earned $1,938,700.
Graham Motion trains Animal Kingdom, who is being pointed toward the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) in March. He will have a prep race on turf in February.