Animal Kingdom sidelined until 2012 Dubai World Cup

Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom will not race again this year.  The left hind leg injury he suffered in the Belmont Stakes is more serious than the initial diagnosis.

Team Valor owner Barry Irwin and trainer Graham Motion were planning to bring Animal Kingdom back in time for a Breeders’ Cup campaign.  But those hopes were dashed after vets examined more X-rays earlier this week.

“A second set of films revealed a slab fracture over and above the previous images,” said Irwin.  “He has been lame every day and it hasn’t gotten any better.”

Though he has fielded offers from several studs, Irwin said there have been no serious talks to sell or retire Animal Kingdom.  He still believes the Leroidesanimaux colt has a bright racing future ahead of him.

Animal Kingdom (3c Leroidesanimaux – Dalicia by Acatenango) will return to training at the end of the year in Florida with the aim of getting him ready for the Dubai World Cup in March 2012.

Animal Kingdom won the Kentucky Derby and was runner-up in the Preakness Stakes.  He clipped heels at the start of the Belmont Stakes and almost unseated jockey John Velazquez.  He recovered to finish sixth in the third leg of the Triple Crown.