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Animal Kingdom to make return in Breeders' Cup Mile
By Marcus Hersh
Animal Kingdom, the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner, will make his first start since February in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, his connections announced Tuesday.
Animal Kingdom was being pointed to the Dubai World Cup this past winter when, in March, he developed a stress fracture of the ilium, a bone in the pelvis. The injury healed, Team Valor Stables reported, with 30 days of stall rest, and Animal Kingdom went back into training in June. He has worked steadily in recent weeks at trainer Graham Motion’s base at the Fair Hill training center in Maryland, breezing six times since Aug. 24, and a half-mile turf drill in 50.20 seconds Tuesday morning pleased his connections enough that the BC Mile plan was revealed.
“Coming off the layoff, the Mile just seems very logical for him,” Motion said in a Team Valor Stables news release. “He certainly has the turn of foot to handle it. The timing is right for his schedule coming back, and the caliber of horse that he is, you’re not going to look for a nice, easy spot.”
Animal Kingdom, who didn’t race during his 3-year-old season after finishing sixth in the Belmont Stakes, has made just two of his eight career starts on turf, and only once has started at a distance as short as a mile. That one-mile race came in his 3-year-old debut, when he finished second in a first-level turf allowance race. Animal Kingdom’s lone 2012 start produced a Gulfstream Park turf win going 1 1/16 miles.
“It’s a totally different situation than last winter when we ran him in the Gulfstream allowance to get ready for the Dubai World Cup,” Motion said in the release. “Going a mile, we feel he should be very fit for this race, and he deserves the opportunity.”
Animal Kingdom is a son of Leroidesanimaux, who finished second in the 2005 BC Mile and was named champion turf male that season.
Animal Kingdom’s attempt to win the BC Mile in his first start in more than eight months and second in almost 1 1/2 years harks back to Da Hoss. Da Hoss won his second BC Mile in 1998 while making his second start following a layoff of about two years.
The prospective field for the BC Mile is topped by Wise Dan, who was announced as a likely runner Saturday at Keeneland in the Shadwell Turf Mile.
Everything logical in handicapping tells you this horse should not win this race. But if everything was logical in handicapping there would be a lot of millionaires walking around. There is only one actual factor, and not some opinion about the owners, that you need to look at with him. He ran the final sixteenth of his Feb grass race in slightly over 5 seconds. Coming off a layoff. That's an 'uh oh' kind of time.
Does everybody realize that prior to this announcement, Vegas had Animal Kingdom at 7-1 odds to win the CLASSIC? Sports Books and Casinos take into consideration every angle, statistic, workout, and scenario that could sway the odds. How could a novice handicapper (or anybody else for that matter), think that this horse doesn't have a chance in this race? He has quietly had 6 solid workouts, without any interruptions or hiccups in his training. Motion was pointing AK to this race for a long time. Why run the risk of a cheap prep to derail his bid? This beast is ready to be unleashed!
DaHoss won the Breeders' Cup Mile in his first start in a year.
uumm Ponies Payme, You are wrong my friend. It is the Turf mile not the dirt mile so stop gloating and go back to your room before mama spanks you
OMG.... Who was it that said Ak would run in the Dirt Mile when they asked that very question a few weeks ago after Motion said his race would be a slightly out of character one???? ME!!!!!!! And if that is a recent pic of AK in this article, I'd bring some extra cash with you, as he looks awesome.
from a Handicapper standpoint, The fact that Animal Kingdom is in the race means Beter Odds for my Pick ! or anyother pick
I remember when Da Hoss won the BC Mile after not running in over 18 months. I would put Motion on par with Dickinson. That said I wouldnt bet AK unless i get over 10/1 which i think i will. Last year's winner Turallure hadn't won a race all year before winning the Mile at huge odds. Strange things happen in this race.
Has Motion lost his mind?? I know Team Valor has!! Motion said in the release. “Going a mile, we feel he should be very fit for this race, and he deserves the opportunity.” Of course he will be fit, he's run once in 8 months!! And he deserves the opportunity?? To run against Wise Dan, who can beat him running backwards. Another example of owners not looking out for the horse!!
He should have had a prep first. But that was too much of a risk for his connections,because if he didn't run good then the publicity hogs wouldn't have been a feature on the NBC telecast. This is a total self-serving move for Irwin and Motion and further erodes the sport
Who has he beaten on the turf to a): even deserve a spot in this race at the expense of another and b): for his connection to place him here.
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