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May 31, 2013

Velazquez and Animal Kingdom at Royal Ascot


Ascot, England (Sports Network) - Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez made the trip to England to workout Animal Kingdom at Ascot Racecourse Wednesday morning.

Animal Kingdom, winner of the 2011 Kentucky Derby and this year's Dubai World Cup, worked four furlongs over a soft turf course. The 5-year-old will make his final career start in the Queen Anne Stakes on June 18 at Royal Ascot.

"Animal Kingdom had his first look at a British racetrack this morning when John Velazquez breezed him a half mile over the rain sodden Ascot turf. That is something he might have to face running over there - soft ground. It appears he handled it well but let's hope it's not soft on the day as I think races are run more fairly on good ground over there," wrote Sue Kenny on trainer Graham Motion's website.

Following the one-mile 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.

Owned by Team Valor and partners, Animal Kingdom scored a two-length victory on March 30 in the $10 million Dubai World Cup to go along with his Kentucky Derby win.

In 11 career starts, the 5-year-old has five wins and five seconds for $8,387,500.

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