With a single tweet the dream of America’s defending
three-year-old champion traveling half way across the globe to win the world’s
richest race was dead.
“Sorry to report that AK will not be making the trip to Dubai. He
came out of his work sore in the same leg that he injured in the Belmont.” The statement
came from Animal Kingdom’s trainer, Graham Motion.
The workout in question was five furlong breeze over the Palm
Meadows turf course on Saturday. The injury effectively ends any chance for
Animal Kingdom to make his planned trip to the Middle East scheduled for next
Tuesday, March 20, to run in the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 31.
As for the severity of the injury and the racing future of the
Kentucky Derby winner, Motion added this comment on Twitter, “[Team Animal
Kingdom] will come out with a more detailed report. [I’m] disappointed for
everyone involved, especially the horse. Hope to get him back on track.”
I would further Motion’s statement, by saying myself, and millions
of fans are also very disappointed. I believe Animal Kingdom is a horse that
could handle any surface, and has no problem in running classic distances.
These traits make him a special commodity in American racing these days. This
belief coupled with his scintillating return to the races last month in a
Gulfstream Park allowance, had me looking forward to his run in the Dubai World
Cup more than any American horse since Curlin made the trip four years ago.
According to Michele MacDonald of the Blood Horse, Animal Kingdom
will be sent for a bone scan, within the next 48 hours, because it's not
certain what the specific problem is. The problem was first noticed March 11,
when the colt "wasn't 100%", via Motion.
There will be no Dubai World Cup for the beautiful chestnut, so
now we wait for more detailed news on the injury. Please join me in rooting for
a full and speedy recovery for Animal Kingdom.