Animal Kingdom Headed For Derby


Animal Kingdom, 2¾-length winner of the March 26 Spiral Stakes on Polytrack at Turfway Park, who has never raced on dirt, earned a starting berth in Saturday's 137th Kentucky Derby after working six furlongs in 1:13 yesterday over the main track at Churchill Downs.

The H. Graham Motion-trained son of the Brazilian-bred Leroidesanimaux, who was the 2005 male turf champion in the U.S., is bred for grass top and bottom, and all four of his previous starts came on turf or synthetic tracks. But Animal Kingdom showed he could handle dirt -- in a morning workout, at least -- working in company yesterday with Meistersinger.

After breaking off three lengths behind his workmate, he went in fractions of :12 2/5, :24 4/5, :37 1/5 and :49 1/5, pulling away from Meistersinger through the stretch, galloping out seven furlongs in a solid 1:26 2/5 under jockey Robby Albarado. It was a big improvement over his slow 1:02 4/5 drill a week ago on Polytrack at Keeneland.

"Today, everything went perfectly," Motion said. "Just cut and dried, really."

In other works:

* Mucho Macho Man, who hasn't raced since finishing a close third in the March 26 Louisiana Derby, breezed five furlongs in 1:02 2/5, out six in 1:14 1/5.

* Shackleford, who set the pace in the April 3 Florida Derby and was nailed on the wire by Dialed In, sizzled a bullet five furlongs in :58 4/5, out six in 1:12 2/5.

* Twice the Appeal, upset winner of the Sunland Derby, went six furlongs in 1:15 3/5, out seven in 1:29 1/5 under his new rider, Calvin Borel, winner of three of the last four Kentucky Derbys.

by Ed Fountaine

On the New York worktab

Gulfstream Park Turf H. (G1) winner TEAKS NORTH (Northern Afleet), fourth in the April 14 Irish Tower S., logged five-eighths in 1:00 over Belmont Park's fast main track on Saturday. The May 7 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1) is likely next.

Recent Comely S. (G3) victress HOT SUMMER (Malibu Moon) clocked five furlongs in 1:00.

Grade 3-placed NEWSDAD (Arch), fourth by just 1 1/4 lengths in the Blue Grass S. (G1) last out, breezed four furlongs in :51 2/5.

Busher S. winner IT'S TRICKY (Mineshaft), well beaten when fourth in the Gulfstream Oaks (G2) most recently, covered a half-mile in :48 on the fast dirt training track.




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