Friday, May 20, 2011

Animal Kingdom Has Potential To Reign Supreme In Preakness Stakes 136

Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom has reigned supreme on my list since I wrote about him in my 2011 Kentucky Derby Outlook last December. I expected him to win the Derby and if all goes well Saturday, Animal Kingdom will reign supreme in Preakness Stakes (G1) 136.

It’s no secret that the demands of the Triple Crown trail are grueling. Anything can happen on the trail and not only do these young colts need to possess talent but a certain level of racing luck also helps.

Animal Kingdom has the talent.

He also has the breeding and mental toughness to withstand the rigors of the Triple Crown trail and I’ll be rooting for Animal Kingdom to go all the way.

However, according to some of the stories I’ve read during the past two weeks, not everyone was enthused with Animal Kingdom’s Kentucky Derby (G1) win. The good stories outweighed the bad though and one that I’d like to share is from Calibob who is a regular poster on Daily Racing Form blog hosted by DRF Handicapping Editor Dan Illman.

May 20, 2011

02:59 AM

Posted by Calibob


First, let me say that I'm sure I won't be alone in rooting for Animal Kingdom to take this 2nd race in the Triple Crown. He is a big beautiful horse, trained by one of the great people in the sport, and in many ways represents what is great about horse racing. …

The rise of Animal Kingdom, and his potential Triple Crown run could mean so much more than just one horse winning three races over two months. It could represent the crucial turning point this sport needs, in order to return to its foundation of true horesemen and horsewomen competing with the greatest gift God gave to Man, allowing them to run at their natural peak for the highest esteem and glory.

This horse has had success and shows ability over any surface they put under his feet. He has two wins over a synthetic surface, a close troubled second over turf, and a win in the most important race over dirt in the world. He already has served notice to everyone in the industry, that despite recent trends, it really doesn't matter one bit if a horse can break a track record as a mere baby in a flashy time. The winner in the end will be the horse that comes from deep, strong, and uncorrunped bloodlines, and brought along by its connections with patience and care….

Animal Kingdom is a fitting model for what breeders and owners should seek in the future, and if he can accomplish the ultimate goal in this sport, and win the Triple Crown it will indeed be a day that everyone can be pleased in the knowledge that something great has happened.

Well said Calibob.

Team Valor International, Barry and Kathleen Irwin and trainer H. Graham Motion have done an excellent job of preparing Animal Kingdom for the rigors of the Triple Crown trail and I agree that Animal Kingdom would be a good stallion prospect.

Dan Illman also had a lot of good things to say in his blog about the pedigree of Animal Kingdom. And I like what Blood Horse Columnist Steve Haskin said about Animal Kingdom in his latest blog.

Animal Kingdom has only raced five times and I believe that we have not seen his best yet. If he lives up to his breeding, then Animal Kingdom should get better and better the more he races.

Only time will tell.

Other horses I like in the Preakness and will use in my exotic wagers are Midnight Interlude, Mucho Macho Man, Astrology, Dialed In and King Congie.

Midnight Interlude is a much better horse than what he showed in the Derby. I don’t think he liked the 20-horse Derby field. Midnight Interlude needs to be free and clear and Jockey Martin Garcia should have him more forwardly placed for a better run in the Preakness.

Mucho Macho Man always runs a good race and he is a must play in the exotics.

Astrology is an improving colt. The one mile Jerome Stakes (G2) was too short for Astrology. He has a pedigree to excel as the distance gets longer and I look for Astrology to be competitive.

Dialed In and King Congie will fill out the bottom of the trifecta and Superfecta.


  1. Hi Calvin, Flashpoint draws inside the speed this time. Strikes me as a horse when on the lead, gets brave and may not be caught today.

    The works at Kee are Great. and rem. He did not make his first start till January, two races later, Florida Derby, first time distance.

    Im sure at Kee, the colt has been training around two turn. Second time FREAK race ? 24-1 is not a value I can pass up, considering he posted 108 beyer easily.

  2. Calvin
    I don't know what I'm more dissapointed in, Not see a Triple Crown winner, or seeing Animal Kingdom dig in and just not get to the winner. Hats off to Shacklefords connections, as they used the same strategy in the Derby, and this time the distance was just right.
    He's a nice colt. Do you think Animal Kingdom will go into The Belmont Stakes, or wait for a different path? Turf? I hope to see him in the eclispe award balloting at the end of the year. And, thanks for posting Calibob's thoughts. I enjoyed reading them again. So, ..onward and upward, as our friend Slew would say. Always enjoy stopping by here, Calvin.

  3. SR Vegas,

    I would expect that if Animal Kingdom is doing fine that Team Valor International will take him to the Belmont.

    It was disappointing to see them come up short. I don't believe that we have seen the best of Animal Kingdom yet and he will get better and better the more he runs.

    I'm looking forward to watching him continue on the rest of the season.

    Thanks for the following the blog.