Sunday, May 22, 2011
Animal Kingdom probable for Belmont
By David Grening Daily Racing Form
Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom came out of his second-place finish in Saturday's Preakness at Pimlico tired, but otherwise in good shape and will be under strong consideration to run back in the Belmont Stakes on June 11, trainer Graham Motion said Sunday.
Animal Kingdom, under John Velazquez, rallied from 13th position in the 14-horse field to finish within one-half length of Shackleford at the finish of the Preakness, thus ending his chances at a Triple Crown opportunity in the Belmont.
"He didn't eat up completely, but he almost did," Motion said from the Fair Hill Training Center in northeast Maryland. "Physically, he seems really well, a little bit drawn which I'm not surprised because I thought he had a hard race. He had a tough race, he really had to run."
Motion said that if Animal Kingdom is able to bounce back in a week's time, he would like to run him back in the Belmont Stakes, setting up a potential rematch with Shackleford as well as Kentucky Derby runner-up Nehro.
"I talked to Barry about it and I think it's something we'd really like to do," said Motion, referring to Barry Irwin head of the Team Valor International syndicate that owns Animal Kingdom. "We'll give the horse a week and see how he bounces out of it."