07/29/2011 4:34PM

Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom begins walking as part of post-surgical recovery

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Barbara D. Livingston
Animal Kingdom, shown walking the shed row at Churchill Downs the day following his Kentucky Derby victory, is doing similar exercise this week at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland.

Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom began walking the shed row at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland this week, trainer Graham Motion said Friday.

On June 30, Animal Kingdom underwent surgery to repair a slab fracture in his left hind leg. Following a couple of weeks of stall rest upon returning to Motion’s barn, Animal Kingdom has now been hand-walked around the barn.

“It’s a big relief to me to see him getting out of the stall,’’ Motion said. “He’s such a cool horse, nothing much bothers him. He’s doing well.’’
Motion said that after a month of walking the shed, Animal Kingdom would be put on a machine akin to an equine treadmill before a rider will get on his back.

“In an ideal world we’ll have him back breezing around November,’’ Motion said.
Motion said that Wood Memorial winner Toby’s Corner is on a similar schedule as Animal Kingdom, and is currently getting a break on the farm.