Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Team Valor International’s Animal Kingdom, winner of the Vinery Racing Spiral S.-G3, was the voter’s 14th choice in the Thoroughbred Times Triple Crown poll which closed March 28 after its eighth week of voting. While the Leroidesanimaux (Brz) colt has yet to race on dirt, he overcame a troubled trip on Turfway Park’s synthetic Polytrack surface to post a 2 ¾-length victory.
“My horse didn’t break that well and I had a little bit of trouble around the first turn,” jockey Alan Garcia explained of his last-to-first adventure in the 11-horse field. “The long distances will be good for him. Wherever they want to go with this horse, I want to be there.”
Animal Kingdom’s female family is heavy with German stakes winners, and German pedigrees should not be discounted out of hand by American handicappers. In the case of Animal Kingdom, his dam, Dalicia (Ger), is a daughter of Acatenango, a two-time German Horse of the Year and four times that country’s leading sire.