Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom is the early favorite to win the 2011 Belmont Stakes on Saturday. After the way the horse ran during workouts on Monday, that looks even more like a sure bet.
Animal Kingdom ran in company with another horse from trainer Graham Motion’s barn and covered the four furlongs in 47.76 seconds – the fastest of 32 times at the distance. He galloped out five furlongs (1000m) in 1:00.60.
Kingdom recorded fractions of 24.18, 47.76, 1:00.06, and 1:14.38 with ease that impressed those around him.
"He was halfway running off with me," Velazquez said. "I took him as slowly as I could. He got very competitive with the other horse. After he passed him after the wire, he kept galloping very strong. He knew he had the jockey on top of him because he just played with me."
For reference, Derby runner-up Nehro ran four furlongs in 50.88 seconds in his final Belmont tune-up.
Animal Kingdom will be attempting to become the 12th horse to win the Derby and the Belmont.
While you wait for the Belmont Stakes,look back on our 2011 Preakness StoryStream to get up to speed To look back at the Derby, check out SB Nation's 2011 Kentucky Derby StoryStream. Also, our horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come has two must-read resources for Belmont fans: A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.