12/13/2012 4:59PM

Animal Kingdom to stand stud in Australia next fall

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Barbara D. Livingston
Animal Kingdom has won 4 of 9 career starts for earnings of $2,327,500.

Champion Animal Kingdom, winner of the 2011 Kentucky Derby, will enter stud in Australia in September 2013 after John Messara's Arrowfield Stud acquired a majority interest in breeding rights to the colt.

A 4-year-old by Leroidesanimaux, Animal Kingdom will likely shuttle to the Northern Hemisphere beginning in 2014. Robin Bruss of Northfields Bloodstock brokered the stud deal, which is subject to the colt passing importation protocols. Blood work is expected to be completed in the coming days.

"Animal Kingdom excites us as a rare kind of athlete with a truly international pedigree who is able to express his class on a range of surfaces," Messara said. "He is already rated among the world's elite turf milers and has the potential to become a global superstar in 2013."

Animal Kingdom, who finished second to Horse of the Year candidate Wise Dan in the Breeders' Cup Mile on Nov. 3 in his first start since February, is pointing to the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on Feb 9. The race is intended as a prep for the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 31.

Following the World Cup, Animal Kingdom will be flown from Dubai to England for a potential start at the famed Royal Ascot meeting in June before entering quarantine to prepare for his trip to the Southern Hemisphere.

"Originally it was our intention to race Animal Kingdom for the entire 2013 season," Barry Irwin, CEO of owner Team Valor International, said. "However, the prospect of getting the support of John Messara's Arrowfield Stud in the Southern Hemisphere was so meaningful, that I advised my partners to sublimate their fun and take the deal. It is critically important to get a history-making stallion master behind a new prospect, and in John Messara we have that. He has developed two of the world's most successful sires in Danehill and his son Redoute's Choice. No way I was going to pass up this opportunity."

Irwin added that Team Valor plans to form broodmare partnerships to breed to Animal Kingdom, with plans to campaign his offspring around the world. The 20 partners who have raced the homebred colt will maintain a significant interest in his stud career.

Animal Kingdom has won 4 of 9 career starts for earnings of $2,327,500.

The colt won the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes on Polytrack at Turfway Park in March 2011 before capturing the Kentucky Derby in his first start on conventional dirt. After finishing second in the Preakness Stakes, Animal Kingdom was sixth in the Belmont Stakes - the only unplaced outing of his career - after being severely bothered at the start. He emerged from the race with a season-ending fracture in his right hind leg, but still took home the Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old male.

Animal Kingdom returned to the races to win an allowance on the turf in February 2012, but was forced to miss the Dubai World Cup after suffering an injury in a workout. He finished a fast-closing second in the Breeders' Cup Mile in his subsequent start.

Animal Kingdom is the first winner from two starters out of the Group 3-winning Acatenango mare Dalicia.