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Derby Winner Began Career in Chicago

Arlington Park.

Team Valor’s 2011 Kentucky Derby hero Animal Kingdom made his career debut at Arlington last September in a most eventful manner.


“A lot of different things happened in that race,” said Equibase’s Arlington chart caller David Miller Sunday morning at Arlington.  “I remember because it took me 45 minutes just to write the footnote.


“Even in the post parade before the race, I remember being very impressed with three horses that were in there,” Miller said.  “One was Animal Kingdom (who went on to finish second after a troubled trip in traffic). Another was Willcox Inn (owned by the All In Stable, who won that day’s race at his first asking and went on to finish third in Keeneland’s Grade I Breeders Futurity and Churchill’s Grade II Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf).  The third was (Team Block’s) Mavericking (subsequently third in Fair Grounds’ $60,000 Grindstone Stakes and then unplaced behind Kentucky Derby second choice Pants On Fire when that rival won the Louisiana Derby.)”


Interestingly, two other recent Kentucky Derby winners who made memorable early appearances at Arlington Park were Barrington-resident Jim Tafel’s 2007 Derby hero Street Sense, who broke his maiden at Arlington in his second career start, and the late Chicagoland owner Russell Reineman’s War Emblem, who won his career bow in October of 2001 before winning the Run for the Roses in 2002.





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