Already a Group One winner in the USA and Dubai, Animal Kingdom (Leroidesanimaux) is set to retire to Arrowfield Stud after a tilt at the Queen Anne Stakes (Gr 1, 1m) at next week’s Royal Ascot meeting.
Trained in the US by Graham Motion, Animal Kingdom was second on his debut at Arlington over 8.5f in September 2010 before winning over 9f at Keeneland a month later. At three he< returned at Gulfstream Park, finishing second in an Allowance race over a mile before winning the Spiral Stakes (Gr 3, 9f) at Turfway en route to taking out the Kentucky Derby (Gr 1, 10f) at Churchill Downs.
Animal Kingdom was then second in the second leg of the US Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes (Gr 1, 9.5f) and sixth in the Belmont Stakes (Gr 1, 10f). At four, he spent most of the year sidelined through injury, winning at Gulfstream Park in February and finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (Gr 1, 8f) to Wise Dan (Wiseman’s Ferry) the following November.
This year Animal Kingdom was second in the Turf Handicap (Gr 1, 9f) at Gulfstream Park on his seasonal debut before travelling to Dubai and winning the Dubai World Cup (Gr 1, 2000m) at Meydan, beating the 2011 Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) second Red Cadeaux (Cadeaux Genereux).
Animal Kingdom is out of the Group Three winner Dalicia (Acatenango), a half sister to the dam of the Grade Two winner Daveron (Black Sam Bellamy). His third dam is the German Champion Juvenile winner Diasprina (Aspros), dam of the German 1000 Thousand Guineas (Gr 2, 1600m) winner Diacada (Cadeaux Genereux).
Trainer Motion indicated how unique Animal Kingdom would be if he won on the turf at Ascot, “I think of him as a grass horse, really. You need a grass horse to win on Tapeta. The fact that he has also won a Kentucky Derby on dirt is what makes him so exclusive.”
The Danehill/Blushing Groom cross has proven an extremely successful one with over 140 stakes winners and Danehill has also fared well with mares boasting strains of Lyphard (Northern Dancer; 142 stakes winners) to whom Animal Kingdom is line-bred 4 X 4, writes Kristen Manning. Other Danzig line mares are also suitable. Ahonoora (Lorenzaccio), dam sire of Animal Kingdom’s sire Leroidesanimaux (Candy Stripes) crosses well with Sadler’s Wells with Lorenzaccio (Klarion) hailing from the same prolific family as that champion stallion. Candy Stripes (Blushing Groom) has performed well with Mr Prospector line mares, as has Leroidesanimaux. Daughters of Lonhro and his grandsire Zabeel are of interest, both crossing nicely with Blushing Groom and providing for duplications of the excellent mare Commotion (Mieuxce). Blushing Groom crosses very well with his relation Mill Reef and other members of his family worth seeking for Animal Kingdom include Khaled (Hyperion) and Pipe Of Peace (Supreme Court).