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May 10, 2013

Animal Kingdom to close career in Royal Ascot's Queen Anne Stakes


Ascot, England (Sports Network) - Animal Kingdom, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup, will conclude his championship career on June 18 at Royal Ascot in England with the Queen Anne Stakes.

The Queen Anne is a one-mile turf race that, according to trainer Graham Motion, is perfectly suited for the 5-year-old.

"The mile at Ascot is closer to a mile-and-an-eighth race in America because of the layout," Motion said, "and if Animal Kingdom were racing in America at this time, we probably would be running him over that distance. The Queen Anne also fits nicely into my training schedule for Animal Kingdom since we freshened him up after his trip to Dubai."

Animal Kingdom, the 2011 champion 3-year-old colt, was also nominated by his owners Team Valor, Arrowfield Stud and Darley Racing to the 1 1/4-mile Prince of Wales's Stakes, to be run on June 19.

"We had discussed the possibility of either the Queen Anne Stakes or the Prince of Wales's Stakes," said Motion. "But after walking the course, I feel the mile in the Queen Anne will afford our horse plenty of ground. We had only considered the other race because it is run over the same mile-and-a-quarter distance as the Kentucky Derby and World Cup.

"The owners prefer a credential for the horse at a mile and I think the uphill nature of the Ascot course will be a stiff enough test to allow his stamina to come into play."

On March 30, Animal Kingdom scored a two-length victory in the Dubai World Cup to go along with his 2011 Kentucky Derby win. In 11 career starts, the 5-year- old has been first five times and second five more times for $8,387,500.

Following the Queen Anne Stakes, Animal Kingdom will shuttle between Australia for the Southern Hemisphere breeding season and to Darley's Jonabell Farm in , Kentucky for Northern Hemisphere stud duty.

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