12/13/2012 5:59PM

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.

Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Animal Kingdom is and will always be a Great Horse, A Winner on Dirt, Turf, and Poly. And not to mention a winner at a few different distances. Sorry to hear that Irwin and company will be sending him to Stud elsewhere and we see another Derby winner going bye bye. I am pretty sure it has something to do with our racing programs here in the US while we use race day meds.As I heard Irwin speak on TVG about it. Can not blame them for their business decision because it really is all about the horse and about making money isnt it? I know he knocks on us little people in the game but thats ok. Just would like to know what he does and where he places all his stock when there considered a bleeder? PS, If AK doesnt get hurt again while in training or racing, he will go YES , Unbeatable.
Tyler Mathis More than 1 year ago
Retired at five after what may be a dozen starts. A lengthy racing career for a stallion these days!
BrandonLayer More than 1 year ago
Better than being retired after his three year old season like so many other Derby and Preakness winners. Do you really expect him to run as a six year old?
Chris Butler More than 1 year ago
Is the the same "sucker" Barry Irwin sold Pluck to? Or did he find a new "sucker" Barry Irwin talks out of all three sides of his mouth. Just a few years ago he said the Kentucky Derby was over rated and if you were looking to race a horse in the Kentucky Derby don't even bother with Team Valor. Then he catched lighting in a jar, sorry Cot, and now the Derby is the do all end all. Went the Day Well, and I understand he just syndicated, for BIG, money another European two year old who is his Triple Crown prospect. I guess those of you who have two year olds with Team Valor should just forget about it. This one will probably go the same way as: Brujo De Olleros, Tobaggan Slide (the Million dollar + Maryland Bred), Badleroibrown (This one was better than AK/now running in claimers), Valiant Passion (horse had ankles as big as basketballs after her maiden win...did he mention that to those who plunged on this ione?), Captain Futuro (when he marketed this horse he had him winning the Italian Derby and the Belmont Stakes) Angegreen (another Italian import bust...oh yea Barry Irwin like others in his business tells you about the few good ones but NEVER about all of the BUSTS), time and space do not permit me to go on but I hope you get the picture. Tread softly , and read through the lines.
MattIL More than 1 year ago
Why so much hatred, Chris? Barry admits he has had failures in the past. It's part of the game - win some lose some. Everyone who has ever owned race horses knows the risks. This one turned out well. Why don't you talk about Team Valor's record versus other syndicates? What is your point anyway?
BrandonLayer More than 1 year ago
Catched lightning in a jar??
jay More than 1 year ago
"He is already rated among the world's elite turf milers and has the potential to become a global superstar in 2013." So he can become a global superstar running in three races? What a bunch of nonsense.
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Regal, powerful-looking Animal Kingdom. He's quite a horse, he's definitely one of my favorite horses. It's good to hear he will be standing stud in Australia with an excellent organization. Danehill was quite a horse, too. I understand Team Valor has retained partial interest in AK, so Animal Kingdom will stand in the States as well at various times, giving the fans a chance to see him at some point in the future. I count myself as a fan, I think Animal Kingdom is fabulous. His comeback race in the Breeders' Cup Mile was incredible & outstanding, and I cannot express how powerfully impressed I was at seeing his conditioning, in person, at the Breeders' Cup. In person, this horse is very impressive. He looks like a Renaissance statue created by Michaelangelo of a race horse. And his powerful stride is palable. I look forward to seeing his final races next year, I will be cheering for him every step of the way. I wish Animal Kingdom great good luck and good fortune at stud in the future. He's going to have lots of fun with many beautiful mares! I don't know if this is being planned to happen, but could you imagine the beautiful, talented foals if Animal Kingdom was mated with Black Caviar? Wow!! Talk about incredibly beautiful, powerful horses they would be! A breathtaking thought - I hope it can happen someday, I would love to see their progeny. Good luck, Animal Kingdom, and thank you for the fun, excellent, exciting racing.
Tom Conboy More than 1 year ago
This is a major disappointment. Team Valor said they were in the business of running the horses, not breeding them.... I, like many here, were hoping to see Animal Kingdom once again running in the Breeders Cup next fall. Some additional match ups with Wise Dan, Mucho Macho Man and others... That may happen in the World Cup, but not to see him again on America soil after his initial 2013 race will be very disappointing. Come on Barry, back the words you just told us one month ago..
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
I totally understand your disappointment, Tom. I guess I'm not as shocked as many that Team Valor was leaning toward retiring Animal Kingdom after the Dubai race because they sort of hinted at that earlier this year when they were conditioning AK for his comeback in the Breeder's Cup Mile. I especially thought they would retire him if he had great success in Dubai, that would have been the perfect opportunity to do so, while AK was on top. They did it a little sooner than I thought they would, though. I'm mainly concerned that Animal Kingdom goes to someone who will treat him well and where he will be happy. And also where he will get a good chance at breeding with some excellent mares so that his progeny have an excellent chance at success down the road. I think we have some excellent racing ahead with the two horses you mentioned, along with Fort Larned, Little Mike, Royal Delta. I like the 9 year old from Argentina, too - Calidioscopio. I would like to see more of him here in the States in the future. He's a little long in the tooth for a horse that is still in training nowadays, but he's exciting to watch - and so are his connections! - LOL.
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Look who's telling who to get mental health help! That's rich! You should take a good, hard look in the mirror first before you throw stones at anyone else. You take the cake, buddy. There's absolutely nothing wrong with my mental health, in fact, it's in excellent condition, thank you very much. Yours, on the other hand, is another matter.
laura ban More than 1 year ago
A very astute observation Joy! Michelangelo's race horse is in Florence and I agree that A.K. has the same nobility and power. Did you also see Leonardo's bronze horse in Milan? You might like that as well.
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Thank you, Laura. I have seen Michaelangelo's race horse statue in Firenze (Florence) and it is why I referenced it. AK looks very much like his statue to me, especially in his powerful musculature. Michaelangelo was very detailed in showing magnificence in musculature in both humans and animals. It is one of the factors in making his statues so powerfult to look at, and very realistic. I have not seen Leonardo's bronze horse in Milan yet, though. I will make sure to do so soon. I'm looking forwad to seeing it. That's a good excuse to save for a trip to Milan soon. I loved Italy when I was there and would love to go back for a visit, maybe go to Milan this time around, someplace I missed the last visit. Thanks for the inspiration, Laura. - LOL. Don't know if I will have time to get there next year, I have a lot of things on the agenda for 2013, but I'm definitely putting it on my list of things to do. If I can't make it 2013, 2014 could be a possibility.
laura ban More than 1 year ago
Sounds like you've done some traveling, good for you. To see other places, experience different cultures makes for a better, well rounded person as I believe you to be! As a travel guide and consultant, it has been a pleasure to show people the endless beauty, history and diversity of this world. ...... Milan is just now starting to be on a travelers track. It has been over-looked for a long time by the U.S. for reasons unknown to me because it's a wonderful city. I hope you get a chance to see it in 2014. .... I look forward to your posts as always, Joy. Keep the faith.
BrandonLayer More than 1 year ago
I work at FedEx in Louisville and we used to ship horses to Australia to breed but they would come back. We shipped horses like Thunder Gulch, Charismatic and Fusiachi Pegasus to name a few. For those who don't know how shipping a horse works Ill try to explain. First the stall we use are usually dismantled so you have to put them together. After you have your stall built you can put them on a dolly with wheels on the bottom so the stall can now be rolled around. You hook a "tug" or small truck to the dolly the drive it around. Then the horses show up on those big trailers we all see all the time carrying horses. A ramp is put up at the door of the trailer with walls on both sides so you can't see the horses and they can't see out. The stall is rolled up to the ramp. The horse steps of the plane with his handler, walks down the ramp with walls and into the waiting stall. The handler rides in the stall with the horse the whole way in most cases, even during the flight. In the stall there is hay and water for the horse. Then you slowly pull the stall away from the ramp. The stall is then rolled to a loader that is mated to the 'topside" of a huge airplane. One that you can stand in the engine of. The stall goes onto the part of the loader that is lowered to dolly hight. When the loader goes up locks raise on it so the stall will not fall. The stall is raised to topside levwel and whelled into a plan that has rollers on the floor so you can again move the stall around. The stall is pushed back into a position where locks are raised all around the stall so it will not move during the flight. When all the horses with their handlers are locked in place the planes door is closed and the horses are ready to go.
Ken Wiener More than 1 year ago
Very interesting. Does the handler have a seat belt like other human passengers?! Not an easy trip for the handlers!
B More than 1 year ago
I have nothing nice to say about this news.
HeadHeartHooves More than 1 year ago
Where are all the folks who were condemning the sale of I'll Have Another to Japan. Here's another Derby winner being sold to a faraway farm, yet very few comments. Curious...
Brigitte de Saint Phalle More than 1 year ago
Because a lot of Team Valor mares will breed to him "with plans to campaign his offspring around the world". Plus, they retained part interest. In other words Animal Kingdom could shuttle here.
radnor87 More than 1 year ago
Maybe because he's going to Southern Hemisphere, and as such could easily be shuttled back here for the breeding season.the shuttle stallions come back in December and leave again in July. Plenty of time to fulfill stud duties in N.A.
Cranky More than 1 year ago
This is one horse that I'm really going to miss. He's had such an amazing life story of wins, injuries and recoveries. Most horses don't make it past the first major injury, but this one did it twice and is still going. This is the sign of a true champion, one that God has smiled on. I wish him the best life and I'm looking forward to some really great runners from him.
laura ban More than 1 year ago
Good luck A.K. - Sorry to see you go.