When Animal Kingdom exploded at the top of the Meydan stretch to powerhouse away from the rest of the field I was beyond ecstatic. My whole day was based around the World Cup races Saturday morning and I couldn't wait for the American horses to represent us on the other side of the globe. Unfortunately, most of them barely got their names called. Where ten faltered before him, Animal Kingdom rose to the challenge to win America the world's richest race.
Being only 14 years of age I have nothing to do with gambling and won't anytime soon. I'm blessed to have gotten involved into the world's greatest sport at the young age I have and have the opportunity to appreciate it more. Without money as an option it's all about the horses. I look forward to World Cup day in Dubai as much as I look forward to the Triple Crown races and the Breeders Cup. Thoroughbred horse racing has grown to be my passion and no matter what everyone tells me I plan to pursue a career one day in the industry. Animal Kingdom was the winner of the first Kentucky Derby I watched live so he's held a special place in my heart since and watching him take the Dubai World Cup was all the more amazing.
When I discovered that Animal Kingdom would run representing Australia I was extremely disappointed. It was a slap in the face to Americans, and in a way, insulting. I understand that Arrowfield Stud purchased a majority of Animal Kingdom's breeding rights for the beginning of his stud career later this year but he's our Kentucky Derby winner, our only active one, and he's never once set foot on Australian soil.
Animal Kingdom ran a picture perfect race. Breaking well he moved up to fifth hung four wide into the first turn due to his unfortunate post position. As the field hit the backstretch he moved up to flank Royal Delta who clearly was not going well with the surface. Around the far turn Animal Kingdom drew even with the mare and took the lead turning for home before absolutely exploding. Only Red Cadeaux managed to throw in a late bid but Animal Kingdom had the race won from the break.
Animal Kingdom is a magnificent horse. He's one of the best I've seen since I got involved in racing over two years ago and by far the most versatile. The only time he finished worst than second was the 2011 Belmont Stakes where he got injured at the start. He won his debut over synthetic going nine furlongs in only his second start. Call me out as wrong, but the majority of two-year-olds I see start out in, and break their maidens, in sprints. Winning the Spiral easily he was still dismissed at odds of 20-1 in the Kentucky Derby. He lost any chance of a Triple Crown to the game Shackleford until his unfortunate Belmont which left him out for the rest of the season yet he still proved enough to clinch champion 3-year-old male honors. As we all know he made his 2012 debut in an allowance a winning one only to become injured again.
Starting a horse in a Breeders Cup race on a nine month layoff is unheard of but that's exactly what Animal Kingdom did and with some added running room earlier on he just might have caught Wise Dan. This year he ran a game second to Point of Entry at Gulfstream before shipping to the Middle East. Here's a horse who has only raced three times in the past year, hasn't raced over a synthetic surface in two years, and who only raced over a mile and a quarter once since his Derby win and now vying for the worlds richest race. The fact that he accomplished this feat proves how great he is. Winning over dirt, turf, and synthetic and from 8.5 to 10 furlongs and now the fourth richest racehorse in American horse racing history behind only Skip Away, Cigar, and Curlin, Animal Kingdom truly is an amazing animal. And America is lucky enough to call him ours.
No matter what the records books may say, America won the 2013 Dubai World Cup. We won the World Cup with our horse. With our Derby winner. Our horse, our victory.
Hopefully onto Royal Ascot, Animal Kingdom! America wishes you well!