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Animal Kingdom Scratched From Dubai World Cup – Motion Confirms Lameness

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By Author: Lee Lane-Edgar
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Hurt again in the same leg that previously hampered Animal Kingdom’s possible rally in the Belmont Stakes, the colt’s contention from Dubai World Cup, slated for 31st March, was withdrawn due to lameness in the left hind leg.
Even though Animal Kingdom may not have showcased his best racing efforts to eliminate all doubts regarding his calibre as a great race horse, his stint at Churchill Downs previous year in winning the most prestigious North American race, the Kentucky Derby, says it all. The horse has the mettle, only the ‘occasions’ fall short.
Wrapped in Team Valor’s green and crimson silk, Animal Kingdom is trained by the scoring, Graham Motion. He was sired by the Brazilian colt, Leroidesanimaux, Eclipse Award winner for American Champion Male Turf Horse in 2005. His dam Dalicia also was of European lineage and was unraced on dirt. However, Animal Kingdom, with his inherited liking for turf still managed to earn the winner’s circle for the 10 furlongs’ the dirt race at Derby.
In his start as a two year old, Animal Kingdom was seldom exposed to gruelling races that most Triple Crown ...
... runners compete in to make their recognition and also prepare for the 10 furlongs that is otherwise an unraced distance throughout their career until the Derby.
Animal Kingdom, in his Run for the Roses, challenged a field of 19 others that comprised of later the Gulfstream Park Handicap winner, Shackleford; Grade 2 Louisiana Derby winner, Pants on Fire; Blue Grass Stakes winner and later runner up Breeder’s Cup Turf, Brilliant Speed and many more. Uncle Mo, the highly favoured favourite was scratched at the last instant due to gastrointestinal illness. His rider, John Velasquez was asked to replace Animal Kingdom’s injured jockey R. Albarado and history ensued.
Animal Kingdom helped create a memorable win for both himself and his rider; John Velasquez won the Derby for the first time despite initial 13 tries at the trophy. Animal Kingdom, following his win at the first leg went on to become one of the few horses who have run all the three legs of the Triple Crown. He finished second to an avenging his defeat from the Churchill Downs, Shackleford.
Though not in winner’s circle anymore, Animal Kingdom maintained his in the money placing. In the Belmont Stakes however, due to a stumbling start by Isn’t He Perfect, Animal Kingdom was pushed into clipping heels with Mucho Macho Man hence hurting his heels and losing gain on the winner, eventually finishing 6th. In a final attempt to seal the money, Animal Kingdom made a run but failed to close in on the race leads.
Post a long layoff of more than seven months, Animal Kingdom sealed a winning performance in optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park on February 18th this year raising hopes for his contention in the world’s richest race, the Dubai World Cup.
However, recent reports flowing in from various thoroughbred racing sources state Graham Motion confirming reports of his star starter’s lameness, one that would take him off the list for Dubai World Cup.
Would Animal Kingdom make a comeback with much more conviction than before? Should we expect to see more him, possibly even romping the field down in the season’s ultimate championship tests, the Breeder’s Cup?
Watch this space for more news and updates on thoroughbreds and their racing. Also, check out the online racing games on www.horsercagame.com designed specially to quench your thirst for racing through a virtual gaming platform.

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