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Gulfstream Park: Animal Kingdom pretty much ready for Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap
By Mike Welsch
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – If trainer Graham Motion had his druthers, the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap would be run next weekend, not on Feb. 9 as scheduled. That’s how good his 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom is doing in preparation for his much-anticipated 2013 debut.
Going in company with regular workmate Badleroibrown, Animal Kingdom breezed five furlongs in 1:02.08 on Monday morning at Palm Meadows. Animal Kingdom broke off three lengths behind his target and posted splits of 13.08 seconds, 25.26, and 38.01 for the opening three-eighths, ran by his stablemate near midstretch without much encouragement while finishing strongly into a very stiff headwind, then proceeded to gallop out six furlongs in 1:13.77 and pull up seven-eighths in 1:28.74.
Motion is planning to use the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap as a prep for Animal Kingdom for the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 30. Ramon Dominguez will be aboard Animal Kingdom for the first time in the Gulfstream Park Handicap.
“The horse is doing great,” Motion said. “I have to keep reminding myself the race is still four weeks away and that he’s still got three more works to go. It’s kind of frustrating in a way, because he’s ready to go now. But the timing of the race is very good. It would even be better if it was two weeks from now, because it would give him even more time to get over it, but overall the timing is perfect. We’re just kind of treading water with him at the moment. I don’t want him to be flat out at this point. I told my rider to just let him go around there easily and let him finish up strong, and that’s exactly what he did.”
Animal Kingdom and Badleroibrown were the only horses permitted to work inside the dogs, which were positioned well out into the course Monday at Palm Meadows.
“They have been allowing horses training for graded stakes to work inside the dogs up here,” Motion said. “I believe Tom Bush also worked his good grass horse Unbridled Command inside the dogs here last week.”
Unbridled Command also is a candidate for the Gulfstream Park Turf, having won his last five starts, including the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby. He breezed five furlongs in 1:00.60 inside the dogs last Thursday morning at Palm Meadows.
This horse has grown on me, a lot. My husband who knows nothing about racing or horses picked him for the Derby while I dismissed him as a feeble attempt to win a dirt classic with a horse who had never performed on dirt before. I had a chance to meet Animal Kingdom in August at Fair Hill (i had gone to see Union Rag's before he left for Kentucky) while he was still just jogging and he was a beast then, I can only imagine how he looks now with 5 months of real training behind him. I was impressed with his demeanor, he was nothing but kind and hilarious in his facial expressions and antic's, while performing for peppermints. I wish nothing but good furtune for Animal Kingdom in his future endeavors. He get's my vote over Wise Dan.
Looking forward to see this magnificent horse on the track once more.If he brings the same form as his last race after being out so long,i think he will run out of competition.Good luck to all the connections.
if jonny v had any clue how ready AK was for the breeders cup he would have stayed on him a better trip AK would have blew wise dan out of his shoes
Why even run the race? Just give AK's connections 60% of the purse. Are you kidding me? AK gets beat on 2/9/2013. Also, who is going to ride in Dubai, if in fact AK makes it to Dubai? Sounds like there is trouble in Kool-Aid Land (Team Valor) with Angel Cordero, Jr. the agent for John Velasquez. Does anyone know anything about this?
There is no horse currently racing that has the turn of foot of AK. The horse will explode by all runners in the last 1/8 of a mile on Feb 9th. He is training now, just like he did after winning the Spiral as a 3yr old. Anybody remember how performed in the Derby?
To read the fourth paragraph it sounds like Horse is doing better than Trainer! Keep him settled AK. He can be a fractious type.
AK is the best looking american athlete. not expecting the jockey to go full out in the stretch in his prep race. a clean trip in dubai, should make him a winner.
I doubt we'll see AK run in Dubai or anywhere else after his Gulfstream race, if he makes it to that one. The stud deal is done, nothing more to prove - winning a few more races isn't going to get him any more quality mares than the ones that are already lined up. Why do we even bother racing the great ones anyway? I'm sure they can find an elevated enzyme level or something not perfect if they look hard enough.
Call me provincial but wish AK had a campaign designed to stay in the US . After gulf it is to dubai and according to some articles england and then to austrailia for the breeding season there Certainly money talks which it should in this game but would be a very good stamina and at times brilliant influence in the US . Yet supposedly will shuttle here for the next breeding season . Who really knows but here is to wins in florida and then on the taptea
this horse is a beast. some injurys and bad trips cost this horse a lot of fame and fortune will never know how good he could have been
- 1.Posted 12/17/2013 02:17PM
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