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Feb 08, 2013

Animal Kingdom returns in Gulfstream Turf


Hallandale Beach, FL (Sports Network) - Former Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom heads a field of six for Saturday's $300,000 Kitten's Joy Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap. The 5-year-old is using the stakes as his 2013 debut event.

Trained by Graham Motion and owned by Team Valor, Animal Kingdom will start from the outside post with jockey Joel Rosario filling in for the injured Ramon Dominguez. Dominguez, who suffered a fractured skull last month in a racing mishap, was released Wednesday morning from a rehabilitation hospital.

Animal Kingdom is making his first start since finishing second to Wise Dan in the Breeders' Cup Mile on Nov. 3. The chestnut horse had just one previous start last year when he won an allowance race on the grass at Gulfstream on Feb. 18.

The 2011 Kentucky Derby winner will make his next start in the Dubai World Cup on March 30.

"The big picture is getting him to Dubai," said Motion. "This race is an important steppingstone. Believe me, he's going to be ready to run, and it's not going to be easy. But the big picture is getting him to Dubai. It's always been our goal to get there."

In just nine career starts, Animal Kingdom has four wins and an equal number of seconds for more than $2.3 million.

Another Breeders' Cup runner-up, Point of Entry, looms as Animal Kingdom's main rival. Trained by Shug McGaughey, Point of Entry will break from post 2 with John Velazquez again in the saddle.

The 5-year-old was second behind Little Mike in the Breeders' Cup Turf as the 2-1 favorite. Owned by Phipps Stable, Point of Entry registered wins last year in the Elkhorn, Man o'War, Sword Dancer and Turf Classic. He begins 2013 with seven wins in 15 lifetime starts for better than $1.8 million.

From the rail out here is the field for the Turf Handicap: Film Making, Edgar Prado; Point of Entry, John Velazquez; Salto, Joe Bravo; Unbridled Command, Javier Castellano; Where's the Baby, Jermaine Bridgmohan and Animal Kingdom, Joel Rosario.

Post-time will be approximately 4:01 p.m. (et).

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