11/03/2011 4:22PM

Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom to begin galloping Monday

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Barbara D. Livingston
Animal Kingdom came out of the Belmont Stakes with a leg injury that required surgery.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Trainer Graham Motion said "it seems like ages ago" that he won the Kentucky Derby with Animal Kingdom. Actually, it's only been six months.

Motion, back in Louisville to participate in this weekend's Breeders' Cup, said Thursday that Animal Kingdom and Wood Memorial winner Toby's Corner will both begin galloping Monday at the Fair Hill training center in Maryland.

Animal Kingdom has not raced since finishing fifth in the Belmont Stakes on June 11, a race from which he emerged with a slab fracture to his left hind leg that required surgery. Toby's Corner has not run since upsetting the previously undefeated Uncle Mo in the Wood at Aqueduct on April 9. He was withdrawn from Derby consideration the week of the race because of a hind leg injury as well.

Both horses have been on similar schedules, Motion said, and have been jogging for a month while also going on an Aquatred, an underwater treadmill that allows horses to exercise in a controlled environment.

"Sometimes they do both on the same day," Motion said. "So they have a pretty good bottom underneath them."

Motion said he would like to keep both horses at Fair Hill until the end of December - weather permitting - before shipping them to the Palm Meadows training center in south Florida. Motion believes both would have a workout or two before shipping.

Motion said that both horses could be ready to race by the end of January or early February. Barry Irwin, head of the Team Valor International syndicate that owns Animal Kingdom, has stated the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 24 at Meydan as a first objective for the colt. It has not yet been decided if he will have a prep race beforehand.

"Barry has an idea that we could do it without a prep, which is something to think about," Motion said.

Toby's Corner is a Florida-bred and would be eligible for the Sunshine Millions Classic, which pits Florida-breds versus California-breds, but Motion was not sure the horse would be ready for that. The Sunshine Millions Classic is scheduled for Santa Anita on Jan. 28.

"That might be pushing it," Motion said.