Kentucky Derby winner sidelined for summer

Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom has been taken out of training after x-rays uncovered an injury to his left hind leg.

Animal Kingdom (3c Leroidesanimaux – Dalicia by Acatenango) pulled up lame after meeting with severe interference in the G1 Belmont Stakes last Saturday.  

He will miss the G1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park and the G1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga but Team Valor owner Barry Irwin hopes he will be back in time for the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs in November.

New York stewards suspended jockey Rajiv Maragh for careless riding in the incident that saw Animal Kingdom almost fall soon after the start of the Belmont Stakes.

Irwin said, all things considered, it was fortunate the injury was not more serious.  “I’m very relieved,” Irwin said . “When Dr. Richardson called us after the scan, I felt like we dodged a bullet.”

In addition to the Kentucky Derby, Animal Kingdom won the G3 Spiral Stakes and was runner-up in the G1 Preakness Stakes.