Animal Kingdom Begins Quest For Dubai World Cup
February 1 - Animal Kingdom, winner of the 2011 Kentucky Derby and the Eclipse Award winner as champion 3 year-old, is set to return on February 25 in the Tampa Bay Stakes. The race will serve as his prep for the 2012 Dubai World Cup, which will be run on March 31.
His trainer Graham Motion explained his decision after Animal Kingdom worked extremely well: "I talked to my assistant David Rock and he said the work went exactly as we planned. Animal Kingdom set off about five or six lengths behind Badleroibrown, another horse owned by Team Valor, and caught him around the sixteenth pole. The two finished on even terms, after which it is my understanding Animal Kingdom galloped out very strongly, which was by design. David said he was very happy with how it went."
"The Tampa Bay race is just too logical a spot for me not to run him there," Motion went on to say. "It gives me a chance to work him three more times. Today was only his second five-furlong work. As much as I'd love to run him at Gulfstream, it would be pushing to have him ready on the 11th for the Turf Handicap and I wouldn't want to compromise his chances of going to Dubai by rushing him into the prep. Ultimately, this is all about getting him started and giving him the best opportunity to go to Dubai."
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