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Mar 23, 2012

Animal Kingdom's people go for another Spiral Stakes


Florence, KY (Sports Network) - This Saturday mark's an anniversary of sorts for Eclipse Award champion Animal Kingdom and his connections. It will be just under a year that the champion three-year-old of 2011 won the Spiral Stakes prior to capturing the Kentucky Derby.

The champion colt's owner Team Valor and trainer Graham Motion will try to duplicate last year's victory with another on Saturday. Motion will send out Went the Day Well, co-owned by Mark Ford, in the $500,000 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park.

The colt will be making just his fifth career start in the Spiral and first on a synthetic surface. Went the Day Well began his career in England before coming to the U.S.

"He came from Europe and got held up in quarantine," said Motion. "That caused him to lose some fitness, and so we were playing catch-up with him."

The colt was fourth in a maiden race at Gulfstream Park in February, but came back to win for the first time on March 3 there in a 1 1/16-mile race.

"We've always liked him a lot, and he seems like a horse who wants to go long on dirt," Motion added. "We'd kick ourselves in June if we were to find out then that he is that kind of horse. With Went the Day Well having no graded earnings, the Spiral is a race he can get in to."

Went the Day Well will be ridden for the first time by John Velazquez who guided Animal Kingdom to victory in last year's Run for the Roses.

The post position draw for the Spiral will take place Thursday with 11 horses expected to be entered.

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