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Dec 14, 2012

Animal Kingdom headed to Australia to stand stud


Hallandale Beach, FL (Sports Network) - A majority interest in the breeding rights to Eclipse Award winner Animal Kingdom has been sold to an Australian farm. Arrowfield Stud, owned by John Messara, will be the location where the 2011 Kentucky Derby champ will begin his stud career after the 2013 racing season.

"Animal Kingdom excites us as a rare kind of athlete," said Messara, "with a truly international pedigree who is able to express his class on a range of surfaces. He is already rated among the world's elite turf milers and has the potential to become a global superstar in 2013."

Current owner Team Valor, led by CEO Barry Irwin, will keep an interest in Animal Kingdom following his racing career. The colt, trained by Graham Motion, will return to the races with the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on Feb. 9. and is scheduled to run in the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 31.

"Originally it was our intention to race Animal Kingdom for the entire 2013 season," Irwin said. "However, the prospect of getting the support of John Messara's Arrowfield Stud in the Southern Hemisphere was so meaningful, that I advised my partners to sublimate their fun and take the deal. It is critically important to get a history-making stallion master behind a new prospect and in John Messara we have that. He has developed two of the world's most successful sires in Danehill and his son, Redoute's Choice. No way I was going to pass up this opportunity."

Plans are also being made to have Animal Kingdom race in England after the Dubai World Cup.

The colt had an easy workout early this week at Palm Meadows Training Center, his first since finishing second to Wise Dan in the Breeders' Cup Mile on Nov. 3. The Mile was Animal Kingdom's first start since February at Gulfstream Park.

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