Monday, November 14, 2011
As Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom resumes training for his four-year-old campaign next year, trainer Graham Motion hopes Eclipse Award voters don't forget about the colt's three-year-old season, which was cut short by an injury in the Belmont Stakes.
“Ultimately, he won the classic race that everyone wants to win in what was his first start on the dirt. I think people have overlooked that,” Motion tells the Thoroughbred Times. “He came back in his second start ever on dirt and was just beaten in the Preakness, and then we all know what happened in the Belmont.
“I just can’t believe that ultimately his record doesn’t say something. He’s beaten these horses like Stay Thirsty. I think people were so quick to jump on that horse’s bandwagon when he finished behind us in the Derby, and I think ultimately the Derby is still the classic that everyone wants to win. I think it’s unfair for people to hold it against him that he wasn’t able to race for the rest of the season, and really even in the Belmont he ran a pretty remarkable race. [Animal Kingdom] is very highly rated internationally, and I think that’s something that also has been overlooked a bit.”