01/11/2012 4:46PM

Gulfstream: Animal Kingdom, Toby's Corner arrive early in Florida

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Barbara D. Livingston
Animal Kingdom (left) and stablemate Toby's Corner, working last Sunday morning at the Fair Hill Training Center, arrived a week ahead of schedule at Palm Meadows in south Florida.

Reigning Kentucky Derby champion Animal Kingdom arrived at Palm Meadows on Wednesday morning, about a week ahead of schedule, while accompanied on the van by 2011 Wood Memorial winner Toby’s Corner.

Trainer Graham Motion had originally planned on working the pair one more time this weekend at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland before sending them down to Florida but the threat of bad weather altered his schedule.      

“It looked like it was going to be a nasty week,” Motion said by phone on Wednesday. “I thought we would be better off to get them down there and not have to worry about it. Because of the long trip, I’ll postpone their upcoming works a couple of days, probably until Tuesday of next week.”

Flat Out experiments on grass  
Flat Out, a Grade 1 winner on dirt and the favorite in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic, will try grass for the first time when he launches his 2012 campaign in Saturday’s Grade 3 Ft. Lauderdale. Flat Out, who worked over the turf here earlier this month, tops a full field of 12 in the 1 1/16-mile Ft. Lauderdale.

Saturday’s card will also feature the one-mile Hal’s Hope with Jackson Bend and Soaring Empire likely to vie for favoritism in the Grade 3 event.

◗ Royal Delta, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic and the heavy favorite to be named champion older female at Monday’s Eclipse Award ceremonies, also had her first work of the winter on Tuesday, going three-eighths in 36 at Payson Park. Trainer Bill Mott said last month that Royal Delta’s first major objective in 2012 will be the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 24.