12/12/2012 5:10PM

Gulfstream notes: Animal Kingdom starts cranking up

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Barbara D. Livingston
Animal Kingdom, who breezed a half-mile at Palm Meadows on Tuesday, is pointing for the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on Feb. 9.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Animal Kingdom took his first step toward his much-anticipated 2013 debut when he breezed an easy half-mile in 52 seconds around the dogs at Palm Meadows on Tuesday. Animal Kingdom returned from a long layoff to finish second behind Wise Dan in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. The 2011 Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom is being pointed to the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on Feb. 9.

“He went easily,” trainer Graham Motion said. “The idea was to give him a nice, comfortable first breeze back. He’s had some down time since the Breeders’ Cup.”

Politicallycorrect heads out

Politicallycorrect had his final local work before shipping back to California for the Grade 1 Malibu, zipping a bullet six furlongs in 1:11.60 here Tuesday over a main track tightened up by overnight rains. Politicallycorrect won Santa Anita’s seven furlong Damascus on Nov. 3. The Malibu, a seven-furlong race for 3-year-olds, will be run Dec. 26.

Other workers of note Tuesday included Grade 1 winners Emma’s Encore (half-mile in 49.26 seconds) and Teaks North (five-eighths in 1:01).

Dania Beach gets full field

A field of 10 2-year-olds plus one also-eligible was drawn Wednesday for Saturday’s Grade 3 Dania Beach, a one-mile turf race for 2-year-olds. Tate’s Landing, easy winner of the Grade 3 Laurel Futurity in his turf debut, heads a solid lineup that also includes the stakes winners Mystic Love, a filly, and Itsmyluckyday as well as the Grade 2-placed Charming Kitten, who exits a ninth-place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland.

Senor Enrico More than 1 year ago
Who will be AK's jockey for 2013?
jay More than 1 year ago
Bloodhorse said that Point of Entry might also run in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap. Now that would be a horse race. I think that if Animal Kingdom remains healthy, he will prove himself to be the best horse in the world.
remarkable140 More than 1 year ago
The Kingdom is back! All class and classy connections! Good luck!
laura ban More than 1 year ago
I like this horse and his trainer! Both are a class act - I hope his come back is a great success!
Perl More than 1 year ago
He is an exciting horse and hard not to like but I'll be taking a shot against him at a low price if he faces anyone half decent in his next start.
Gunner More than 1 year ago
I think everyone would like to see Animal Kingdom have a Big Year. The problem is that he ran a Huge Race last February and then wasn't seen again for 9 months. And this was after he didn't really follow up on his Kentucky Derby win - before being injured. Hope he wins (and I'll be watching), but at 1-2 (or less) I could never actually bet him.
David G. More than 1 year ago
You don't see closing efforts in miles races like he did in November too often. AK finished the last quarter in under 22 seconds in a moderate pace and was blocked mid way through the stretch. With a cleaner trip and the ability to carry his form into next year's campaign, this horse will tear up the lawn.
Cranky More than 1 year ago
I couldn't agree more. Even after all of his physical problems, this titan just keeps going and giving a great race everytime. This is the stuff that true champions are made of. I would love for his 2013 year to be even bigger for him than winning the Derby.
Josh More than 1 year ago
Animal Kingdom is a monster and will most likely gallp his first time back regardless of the company. Unless of course Wise Dan were in there, nobody beats him on the turf lately. AK raced unbelievably in California off the layoff and will only be better for the experience. I wonder if being stabled next to Michael Dickinson at Fair Hills has helped him learn more about turf horses and long layoffs? Beware
radnor87 More than 1 year ago
They were never As I remember ,Dickinson was long gone to his own farm, Tapeta, before Motion started training at Fair Hill.