Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom will be sidelined for the rest of 2011 after suffering a leg fracture. The trouble for the three-year-old colt began in early June when trainer Graham Motion discovered it walking with a limp. X-rays showed the fracture to be in the left hind leg.
Late Wednesday, Animal Kingdom owner 'Team Valor' announced that the horse would have corrective surgery the following morning. Dr. Dean Richardson of the New Bolton Research Center in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania is scheduled to perform the operation.
After the procedure, the colt will be shipped to Motion's Fair Hill Training Center for 90 days of mandatory rehabilitation. Team Valor hopes to return Animal Kingdom to regular training by the end of the rehab period, and have cautiously marked the 2012 Dubai World Cup to serve as the former-champion's return.
"Graham and I have talked about this," Team Valor CEO Barry Irwin said as the horse prepared for Thursday's surgery. "No decision will be made for a while. But running Animal Kingdom in the World Cup without a prep is definitely something to consider."
Animal Kingdom has had an incredibly successful season by racing standards, following it's Kentucky Derby crown with a second-place Preakness finish, and a sixth-place Belmont showing. Overall, the Team Valor champion has raked in earnings of over $1.9 million.
Keep an eye on Animal Kingdom's progress at And Down The Stretch They Come.