March 30, 2013 – Animal Kingdom working out at the Meydan Race Course in Dubai on Thursday: Update Apr-01-2013 – Animal Kingdom won the $10 Million race in three links. Since Meydan Race Course replaced Nad Al Sheba in 2010 as the host of the Dubai World Cup program, U.S.-based horses, once perennial favorites on the night, have amassed a dismal record of one victory in 26 races. Among the American imports this year, however, Animal Kingdom is something of an anomaly.
“He won the Derby, but he’s not a typical American horse by any stretch,” said Barry Irwin, the chief executive of Team Valor International, the syndicate that owns Animal Kingdom. “He’s got a pedigree that has nothing to do with America. He’s won on dirt, synthetic, and turf. For those who watch him, we’re not sure his best surface. We don’t even know what his best distance is.”
This versatility explains why Irwin has long hoped to enter Animal Kingdom in the 10-furlong World Cup, which has the world’s richest purse, $10 million. Animal Kingdom possesses a high cruising speed and explosive turn of foot over a course of ground, both hallmarks of recent World Cup winners.
The Master of Disaster