Kentucky Derby Winner Animal Kingdom Cleared for Exercise

The Derby winner was cleared for exercise after undergoing surgery for a hairline fracture in his left hock.

Team Valor International’s homebred Animal Kingdom, winner of the 2011 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and runner-up in the 2011 Preakness Stakes, has been cleared to resume exercising, 60 days after he underwent season-ending surgery on his left hind leg.

Dean Richardson, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, head of surgery at the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa., was pleased with follow-up X-rays taken Sept. 2. Richardson performed the surgery June 30 to stabilize a hairline fracture of the left hock, detected in the wake of Animal Kingdom’s troubled trip in the Belmont Stakes. Since then, the 3-year-old son of Leroidesanimaux has been limited to being hand-walked for 10-15 minutes each day.

Trainer Graham Motion has devised an initial schedule to prepare Animal Kingdom for the Dubai World Cup next March. He will begin exercising on the Aquatred at Bruce Jackson’s Fair Hill Equine Therapy Center immediately and continue through the entire month of September. In October, Animal Kingdom will jog on the track at Fair Hill, and then start galloping in November. Motion ran the regimen past Richardson, who said it made good sense.

As Animal Kingdom progresses, Motion and Team Valor CEO Barry Irwin will come up with a specific plan to get him ready for the World

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The Blood-Horse is the leading weekly publication devoted to international Thoroughbred racing and breeding. Since 1916, the staff of The Blood-Horse has served the Thoroughbred community with the highest standards of journalistic excellence to provide comprehensive and timely editorial coverage and analysis.

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