05/10/2013 8:44AM

Animal Kingdom's Royal Ascot goal now Queen Anne

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Tom Keyser
Animal Kingdom will run in the Queen Anne, a straight one-mile race that runs up hill, rather than the 1 1/4-mile Prince of Wales's Stakes.

Animal Kingdom, the Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup winner, will start in the Queen Anne Stakes rather than the Prince of Wales’s Stakes when he races at the Royal Ascot meet in England next month, his connections announced Friday.

Both races are prestigious Group 1’s, but the Queen Anne – won brilliantly by Frankel last summer – might be the more important race in terms of Animal Kingdom’s stallion career, which is expected to begin later this year at Arrowfield Stud in Australia. The Queen Anne, to be run on Tuesday, June 19, is contested on a straight course over about one mile, while the Prince of Wales’s is a one and one-quarter mile race around a bend. The straight course at Ascot used for the Queen Anne runs uphill, making the race a greater test of stamina than its raw distance suggests, a plus for Animal Kingdom, whose best trip might be something between nine and 10 furlongs. Animal Kingdom is a solid betting favorite – offered generally at about 3-1 – to win the Queen Anne.

Animal Kingdom shipped directly to England from Dubai about a week after winning the $10 million World Cup on March 30, and he has been stabled at trainer David Lanigan’s training yard in Lambourn since arriving. Trainer Graham Motion has traveled from his Maryland base to England on multiple occasions to look in on Animal Kingdom, and walked the Ascot course this past week while on an overseas supervisory mission.

Prior to the World Cup, Team Valor Stables, Animal Kingdom’s breeder and sole owner for most of his career, sold 75 percent of the horse to Arrowfield Stud. It was announced after the World Cup that Darley had acquired a 29 percent interest in Animal Kingdom, and that the horse would stand at Darley’s Jonabell Farm in Kentucky when he shuttles to North America for breeding duties.

Mike Knox More than 1 year ago
Return of the King!
mikey More than 1 year ago
He will go anywhere that WISE DAN is not.Hope they meet again at BC .
jay More than 1 year ago
This is supposedly his last race, then off to the breeding shed Down Under.
zerosumzen More than 1 year ago
That must be it. He's going around the world to win the biggest races to avoid Wise Dan. Now it all makes sense.
Wade Teasdale More than 1 year ago
Reverse their trips in the last BC Turf Mile Wise Dan gets clobbered. AK was reeling WD in like a bluegill even though WD ran very hard through the wire.WD was marvelous, breaking the track record with a perfect trip. AK also nipped the record with a very troubled trip and made up 4.5 of 6 lengths in the last half furlong.
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
Hey "commenting" my friend... What about the horse's health?? You do recall he was injured not too long ago?!
commenting More than 1 year ago
Well then maybe he shouldn't be running at all, hmmm? And another non-trainer, you do realize that continually training and working a horse can also cause health issues & injuries?
commenting More than 1 year ago
Must be nice to have so much money you only need to run the horse every 3-4 months.
not impressed More than 1 year ago
I'm still trying to figure out how they can sell 75% and 29% of the horse and still retain part ownership...figures don't add up.
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
The 75% of 100% was sold by Team Valor to Arrowfield at the end of 2012 before the 29% of 100% was sold to Darley in 2013 by both parties.. In other words, both owners, Arrowfield (75%) and Team Valor (25%), each sold a portion of their shares that added up to a total of 29% of 100% for Darley's share in the horse. I don't recall how the split portion exists for each party now, although I think it has been published, and Arrowfield still retains majority control of AK.
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
48 shares is the final deal - 24 to Arrowfield - 50%, 14 to Darley - 29% and 10 to Team Valor - 21%. So Team Valor only sold an additional two shares, and Arrowfield sold 12 to Darley.
Barry Irwin More than 1 year ago
Darley acquired its interest from both Arrowfield and Team Valor. Each entity sold some of their interest in AK to Sheik Mohammed.
Daryl Montoya More than 1 year ago
Cool...