Team Valor and trainer Graham Motion announced Tuesday that Animal Kingdom is slated to make his long-awaited return to the races in the Breeders’ Cup Mile on turf at Santa Anita Park on November 3.
Animal Kingdom, the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness runner-up, has been working his way back from a stress fracture that kept him out of the Dubai World Cup.
“Coming off the layoff, the Mile just seems very logical for him,” Motion said in a press release. “He certainly has the turn of foot to handle it. The timing is right for his schedule coming back, and the caliber of horse that he is, you’re not going to look for a nice, easy spot. It’s a totally different situation than last winter when we ran him in the Gulfstream allowance to get ready for the Dubai World Cup. Going a mile, we feel he should be very fit for this race, and he deserves the opportunity.”
Animal Kingdom breezed five furlongs in company on turf at Fair Hill Tuesday morning. The official time was :50.20 for the four furlongs, since there is no five-furlong pole on the course.
Animal Kingdom has had previous success on turf, including that allowance win at Gulfstream in February.
Prior to that, he was sixth with a troubled trip in the Belmont Stakes. He was sidelined because of an injury to his left hind leg for the rest of the season.