01/25/2012 12:56PM

Animal Kingdom, Toby's Corner and two Fair Hill mornings

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Toby's Corner and a Fair Hill sunrise, December 13, 2011

Animal Kingdom and Toby's Corner are both preparing for 2012 returns, and, until January 10, both Grade 1 winners were nestled in at Graham Motion's barn at the idyllic Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland.  Among their stablemates were Grade I winner Aruna, Grade 1 winner Summer Soiree, Grade 1 winner Sanagas, Grade 3 winner Dynamic Holiday and the promising young Stephanoatsee - a testament to Graham's fantastic 2011 season.

Morningsat the beautiful training facility can resemble paintings, as Toby's Corner walking back to his barn (above) can attest. Here are a few photos of 2011 3-year-old champion Animal Kingdom, 2011 Wood Memorial winner Toby's Corner and several other talented Graham Motion trainees.  As always, Graham and his wife Anita were extremely accommodating, and the barn staff was upbeat and helpful.

The photos were taken December 13, 2011 or January 8, 2012. 

Above/below:  Kentucky Derby winner and champion Animal Kingdom looks fantastic.  (below, James Slater up)

Above:  Animal Kingdom's face reminds me so much of his sire, Leroidesanimaux.

Above/below:  Just before sunrise on January 8, 2012.  

Above:  Just after sunrise, a horse heads to the track.  

Above/below:  Toby's Corner heads to the track for a workout with stablemate Animal Kingdom.  It seems a horse can't help but be more relaxed at Fair Hill....

Above/below:  Toby's Corner (left) and Animal Kingdom gallop around the track before settling in for a workout.  It was such a chilly morning - hence the blankets.

Above:  I'm a big fan of strong-faced horses, and Toby's Corner, by Bellamy Road, sure has 'the look.'  He looks magnificent.

Above/below:  Grade 1 winners Animal Kingdom (left) and Toby's Corner working on January 8, 2012.

Above:  Graham Motion, left, watching Toby's Corner and Animal Kingdom after the workout.

Above/below:  Toby's Corner heads back to the barn.

Above/below:  Toby's Corner and Animal Kingdom walk the shedrow after the work.

Above/below:  Bath time for champion Animal Kingdom.

Above:  Among the other Graham Motion trainees at Fair Hill was multiple stakes winner (and cute-faced) Dynamic Holiday.

Above/below:  Stakes-placed Stephanoatsee seemed to say, "Come play with me!," above. Below, portrait of the handsome stakes-placed 3-year-old half-brother to Shackleford and Lady Joanne (that's a mouthful!).

Above/below:  Stephanoatsee.

Above/below:  Popular old multiple stakes winner Icabad Crane.

Above:  Summer Soiree who, in 2011, won the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks and two Grade 3s.

Above/below:  Stakes winner Marion Ravenwood and, below, Grade 1 winner Aruna.

Above:  Spinster (G1) winner Aruna, foreground, and Hollywood Turf Cup (G1) winner Sanagas in background.

Above/below:  Grade 1 winner Sanagas, a German-bred 2006 gelding by Lomitas.  The turf specialist was recently sold to an Australian-based racing group, whose goal for Sanagas is the Melbourne Cup.

Above and below:  Toby's Corner at Fair Hill, before sunrise, December 13, 2011.

With a very special thanks to Graham and Anita Motion and to Sally Goswell at the Fair Hill Training Center.

Animal Kingdom's Kentucky Derby: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rpx8ANdCXk

Toby's Corner defeats odds-on Uncle Mo in the Wood Memorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbHYYuxptCk

Sanagas winning the Hollywood Turf Cup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVz8l-Uhfjg

Aruna's Spinster victory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rbq9lGp2-0Y

Summer Soiree's Del Mar Oaks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTcfhyrp_dA