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Jul 01, 2011

Fracture sidelines Animal Kingdom for year


Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom will be sidelined for the remainder of 2011 with a leg fracture. Owner Team Valor announced Wednesday the three-year-old colt will have surgery on Thursday.

Earlier this month, trainer Graham Motion found Animal Kingdom to be lame and X-rays were taken. Veterinarians discovered a small defect in the left hind leg.

"A second set of films has revealed a slab fracture just above the small fissure noted in the previous images," said Team Valor CEO Barry Irwin.

Dr. Dean Richardson of New Bolton Research Center in Kennett Square, PA will perform the procedure, during which he will insert a screw to compress the fracture.

Animal Kingdom will then return to Motion's Fair Hill Training Center barn for 90 days of rehabilitation, including work on a water treadmill. The colt will return to training after at least three months.

Team Valor and Motion have targeted the 2012 Dubai World Cup for the Run for the Roses champ.

"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," Irwin noted. "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."

Animal Kingdom followed his Kentucky Derby victory with a runner-up finish, by a half-length, to Shackleford in the Preakness Stakes. Ridden by John Velazquez, the colt then was sixth in the Belmont Stakes after being severely bumped at the start of the race.

The chestnut colt has won three of seven career starts, with three seconds, for more than $1.9 million.

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