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Derby Winner Animal Kingdom Bound for Pimlico

After capturing a surprise victory in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, 20/1 longshot Animal Kingdom (Leroidesanimeaux) is said to be fit and ready to launch a Triple Crown campaign with connections confirming that it's next stop - Pimlico. 

Piloted by John Velasquez and winner of the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park, Animal Kingdom was making only his fifth lifetime start and notched his third career win in the Churchill Downs showpiece. 

Conditioner Graham Motion was bullish about Animal Kingdom's form and fitness. Speaking to the media following the victory, Motion declared "We certainly plan to be there (Pimlico), it is going to be exciting. I feel really good because we are coming to the next leg with a fresh horse, which is going to be in our favour." 

Animal Kingdom won the Kentucky Derby without appearing to really extend himself and connections agreed that he obviously has further distance in him and, only three races into his season, it appeared that nobody has seen the bottom of him yet. Motion described the Derby win as "surreal" and maintained that he never expected to win the American classic. 

Adding further intrigue to the contest is the fact that several other Derby runners who put in solid shifts are already confirmed for a run in the Preaknes Stakes, the second jewel of the American Triple Crown. Last year racing fans met Lookin At Lucky (Smart Strike) and he was the hot favourite coming into the Derby, only to finish off the board after a tough trip full of checking and contact. He came back to score in the Preakness by three quarters of a length and appeared to relish the added distance. Derby favourite Dialed In (Mineshaft) looks set to ship to Maryland while third-place finisher Mucho Macho Man (Macho Again) has also been pointed towards the Preakness. 

Should Dialed In win the Preakness he will cash a whopping $5,500,000 bonus after winning the Florida Derby and another major graded stakes contest to qualify for the Preakness 5.5. Derby runner-up Nehro (Mineshaft) is set to skip the Preakness but is expected to run three weeks afterwards in the Belmont Stakes. 


Read related Horse Racing blog posts
2011 Kentucky Oaks Betting Preview and Tips Part Two
2011 Kentucky Oaks Betting Preview and Tips Part One
Kentucky Derby Notes for Thursday, May 5
Expect The Unexpected in 2011 Kentucky Derby

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