Darley to stand Animal Kingdom in stud part of the year

Animal Kingdom winning the 2011 Kentucky Derby

Arrowfield Stud and Team Valor International announced today (in a press release) that Darley has acquired a 29 percent interest in the 2013 Dubai World Cup and 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom. As a result Animal Kingdom will stand in the Northern Hemisphere at Darley’s Jonabell Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. The son of Leroidesanimaux will stand in the Southern Hemisphere at John Messara’s Arrowfield Stud in Australia.

Darley’s COO Oliver Tait said, “Animal Kingdom is outstanding. Not only is he immensely talented, he has shown a rare ability to excel on turf, synthetic and dirt and win at a range of distances up to the mile and a quarter of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs and the Dubai World Cup at Meydan. His win at Meydan last Saturday was all class.”

Arrowfield’s Chairman John Messara said, “We are delighted to partner with Darley in the ownership of Animal Kingdom and management of his future international stud career. We have always had a great working relationship with Darley and have the utmost respect for HH Sheikh Mohammed and the Darley management team. With our unprecedented combined support Animal Kingdom will have every opportunity to develop from a Champion racehorse into a Champion sire.”

Animal Kingdom’s majestic two-length victory in last Saturday’s Dubai World Cup G1 over 10 furlongs was the first US-trained success in the race since it has been held on the synthetic Tapeta surface at Meydan. The win took his career earnings to $US8.3 million. The Kentucky Derby winner was crowned US Champion 3YO of 2011, and as a 4YO, at his first start for almost nine months, Animal Kingdom was an impressive second to US Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile on turf at Santa Anita in course-record time.

Current plans are for Animal Kingdom to travel to England, with the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes or the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot as possible engagements.

In a recent interview with America’s Best Racing, trainer Graham Motion reported that he was still in a trance following Animal Kingdom’s win in the Dubai World Cup on Saturday.

“It was very comparable to the whole Kentucky Derby experience—somewhat disbelief,” said Motion. “The last sixteenth of a mile all you’re thinking is, ‘I hope someone doesn’t come and get him.’