Animal Kingdom ruled out of Dubai World Cup

A day after Howe Great entered Kentucky Derby calculations in Florida, his star stablemate Animal Kingdom was ruled out of the Dubai World Cup with a recurring leg injury.

Animal Kingdom (Leroidesanimaux) won the 2011 Kentucky Derby for Team Valor and trainer Graham Motion.  But his Triple Crown dreams were shattered when beaten a half-length in the Preakness before exiting the Belmont Stakes with a slab fracture to his near-hind leg.

He returned to win a Gulfstream Park allowance on February 18 but pulled up lame after working 1000m on the weekend.  He was scheduled to leave on March 20 for the $10 million race in the Gulf.

“It’s a crushing blow for our company and our partners as well as our trainer, who has done such a great job getting the horse back to this point,” Team Valor owner Barry Irwin said.  “Hopefully, he can return for the World Cup in 2013.”

Coolmore Stud’s NZ bred stallion So You Think is now a $3.50 favourite for the G1 Dubai World Cup on March 31.

Meanwhile, Howe Great is primed to push his Kentucky Derby claims in the G1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 14.  “He’s a very classy, straightforward horse,” Motion said.  “The more he races, the more relaxed he has become.”

The Hat Trick colt started the year with a Listed victory in the Kitten’s Joy Stakes and followed up with his fourth win on end in the G3 Palm Beach Stakes (1800m) at Gulfstream Park on Sunday.

Kentucky Derby winner ruled out of Dubai World Cup