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2012 Breeders' Cup Mile: Surprise Entrant

Trainer Graham Motion and racing syndicate Team Valor International will attempt to win the Breeders' Cup Mile with Animal Kingdom, while returning from a 9-month layoff. Animal Kingdom won the roses in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, but was sidelined during the second half of last year after running 6th in the Belmont Stakes.


In preparation for last March's Dubai World Cup, Animal Kingdom won his comeback race (1 mile turf allowance at Gulfstream Park), but was sidelined again with a fracture in his pelvis. Great Britian native Motion is attempting a feat only surpassed by fellow countryman, trainer Michael Dickinson. In 1998, Dickinson brought Da Hoss back off a 2-year layoff after only 1 prep race to capture his second Breeders' Cup Mile.


Jockey John Velazquez was aboard Animal Kingdom throughout the Triple Crown, but is also the regular pilot of Breeders' Cup Mile contender, Wise Dan. According to Motion's Twitter account, no decision about a rider has been made at this time. 


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Older Comments about 2012 Breeders' Cup Mile: Surprise Entrant...

Motion is usually a conservative trainer that brings his horses along slowly, so with him going in this spot with no prep shows that he is obviously confident and must be considered a big factor.
Johnny would have to ride Wise Dan don't you think? Especially with the way he has been running on the turf. The Shadwell may be the final audition to stay on WD.
rafirox, who would you ride, gotta go with Wisw Dan, hands down.
I can't see him winning this. I'll use him in Pick 4s or 6 or exacta. But, I won't bet him alone. BTW, if Wise Dan runs, who will Johnny ride? Wise Dan or Animal Kingdom?
The Mile is usually one of the most competitive and deeply talented races of the weekend. To achieve a win would take a monsterous performance.
If Wise Dan stays with the Mile, no way AK can get him. I don't want to count him out of the exotics but Wise Dan is going to run them off their feet! If Wise Dan enters the Classic instead, AK could do some damage
Pretty tought spot, the Mile looks like it will have a deep and talented field, and Wise Dan might be the best American turf miler in awhile. This is probably the best race for Animal Kingdom though and I expect him to run well.
Given the caution and patience that Graham Motion and Team Valor have taken to bring AK back (twice), if they think he's ready to take on arguably the toughest field in the BC, then there's no way I'm leaving him off my pick 4/6 ticket. I hope he blows em off their feet!!
Crazy development. Animal Kingdom is going to train up to the BC? Somehow I think this must be Barry Irwin's idea.
Tough spot for Animal Kingdom's return, but I wouldn't put a big performance past this unique talent.

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