04/23/2011 3:45PM

Kentucky Derby: Animal Kingdom goes it alone

Keeneland/Coady Photography
Animal Kingdom has a workout over the Keeneland Polytrack on Saturday morning.

A scheduled six-furlong workout for Kentucky Derby hopeful Animal Kingdom didn't exactly work out the way trainer Graham Motion planned at Keeneland on Saturday.

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With exercise rider David Nava up, Animal Kingdom was supposed to breeze in company with stablemate Meistersinger, but after they went the first-quarter-mile down the backstretch in a ridiculously slow 30 seconds, Animal Kingdom went on by himself, taking 50.40 seconds to get from the half-mile pole to the wire.

Keeneland clockers then caught the colt galloping out another 2 1/2 furlongs, back to where the work started at the six-furlong pole, in 33 seconds and change, with the first furlong after the wire coming in 12.40. The official clocking was 1:02.80 for five furlongs over the Polytrack.

In any event, Animal Kingdom will have his final pre-Derby work next Saturday over the dirt at Churchill Downs. "He'll ship over Wednesday or Thursday," said Motion. "I want him to gallop at least once over the track before he works."

Animal Kingdom, owned by Team Valor International, won the March 26 Vinery Spiral at Turfway Park in his last race. None of his four career starts has come over dirt.

Team Valor and Motion also had their Oaks prospect, Summer Soiree, out for a separate work earlier Saturday. With Gabriel Saez aboard, the filly went six furlongs in a swift 1:10.80. Summer Soiree will be on the same van as Animal Kingdom to Churchill this week.

Motion also has Wood Memorial winner Toby's Corner preparing for the Derby at his main base at Fair Hill in Maryland. Toby's Corner will work Sunday, May 1, then ship to Churchill the next day, said Motion.

◗ Churchill officials said the connections of Watch Me Go have said they want to run the colt in the Derby if he makes the cutoff. Watch Me Go, winner of the Tampa Bay Derby before running sixth as the favorite in the Illinois Derby, is scheduled to arrive Tuesday at Churchill from Tampa.

Into Saturday, Watch Me Go was 21st on the graded-earnings list that guides eligibility into the field.