Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom ready to race in 2012

Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom ready to race in 2012

Trainer Graham Motion has Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom and 2011 Wood Memorial winner Toby’s Corner ready for their four-year-old debuts.  Team Valor International’s  Animal Kingdom who won the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs

Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom

Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom

in his first race on dirt and followed with a second-place finish in the Preakness Stakes. He  was sidelined after the Belmont Stakes in June  for the rest of 2011 after suffering a fracture of his left hind leg.

Right now, Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom remains on target to make his 2012 debut in the Tampa Bay Sakes on February 25 and Motion could not be happier.

“Things have gone very smoothly,” said Motion, it worked out well getting him started at Fair Hill and getting him a few easy breezes. Once we got him to Florida and we started picking it up with him, he’s really responded and probably even come around perhaps a little quicker than I might have anticipated.

“I was thinking about it today, and he’s been in training since the beginning of October, albeit it was just going on the AquaTred.  He’s got three months of pretty solid foundation under him and now he’s got two months of pretty steady works, so I feel pretty good about where he’s at.”

Trainer Graham Motion and Team Valor Chief Executive Officer Barry Irwin have been aiming Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom to the Dubai World Cup  On March 31.

Ironically, Toby’s Corner missed the 2011 Kentucky Derby with a left hind leg injury.  Motion said he has a different race in mind for the Bellamy Road colt. “I think more than likely he could come back in the General George (Handicap) on Monday,” he said. “I talked to Mrs. Cotter about it. I love the idea of running him at Laurel (Park) on a track he has won twice on. I think seven-eighths is a good distance to come back at for him. I can run him down at Gulfstream (Park) in an allowance race and come up against some monsters and I’d just as soon run him in a nice race where he has a good chance to pick up a piece of the purse and maybe a graded win which goes towards helping him later on in his life.”.

Graham Motion also has a 2012 group of three year olds who hope to have their connections needing Kentucky Derby tickets in Louisville or maybe go on our Kentucky Derby Tours.  We hope to see the performances of Lucky Chappy, Howe Great,  Went the Day Well, Cop a Tude, and  State of Play causing their connections to need Kentucky Derby tickets.