Animal Kingdom update

Animal Kingdom to miss remainder of 2011 season

Press Release

Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom will not race again this season, advises Team Valor International CEO Barry Irwin.

Two weeks ago, when trainer Graham Motion noticed that the colt was lame, X-rays were taken that revealed a small defect in the left hind leg. Veterinarians rescheduled another round of radiographs after a period of 2 weeks.

“A second set of films has revealed a slab fracture just above the small fissure noted in the previous images,” said Irwin, after he and Motion consulted veterinarians Dr. Dean Richardson of New Bolton Research Center in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania and Dr. Larry Bramlage of Rood and Riddle Veterinary Clinic in Lexington, Kentucky.

Dr. Richardson will insert a screw to compress the fracture on Thursday morning, after which Animal Kingdom will do 90 days of rehabilitation at the Fair Hill training center, first in Team Valor’s own barn and then on a water treadmill at Bruce Jackson’s equine therapy unit.

Rehabilitation plans call for Animal Kingdom to rest for from 4 to 6 weeks, after which he will walk on the water treadmill until 90 days have elapsed. The colt will be off for 3 months before returning to training at Fair Hill.

Motion will train the 3-year-old Leroidesanimaux colt at Fair Hill well into the early winter before eventually sending him to Florida to begin his final preparation for the late March renewal of the World Cup at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai.

It is undecided whether Animal Kingdom will race prior to the World Cup. Irwin said “I think that Henry Cecil proved it was possible to train a colt in a cold climate like England and win well with him off the plane in Dubai, as he did with Twice Over last year. Graham and I have talked about this. No decision will be made for a while. But running Animal Kingdom in the World Cup without a prep is definitely something to consider.”

The World Cup is run on Tapeta, a surface over which Animal Kingdom has trained at Fair Hill. Two of his 3 wins have come on an all-weather racetrack.{jcomments on}

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