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Top News in Thursday's TDN
Animal Kingdom Works for Gulfstream Park Turf
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Team Valor International's Animal Kingdom (Leroidesanimaux {Brz}), a troubled second in the GI Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita Nov. 3, is on target for the GI Gulfstream Park Turf H. Feb. 9.

The 2011 GI Kentucky Derby winner returned to the worktab with a four-furlong move in :52.61 over the Palm Meadows turf Tuesday.

"He went easy," trainer Graham Motion reported. "It was around the 'dogs,' so the time is a little bit deceiving. The idea was to give him a nice, comfortable first breeze back. He's had some down time since Breeders' Cup."

With Rafael Bejarano in the irons in the Mile, the chestnut was checked on the backstretch while racing toward the rear, and finished up full of run once finding crucial racing room in deep stretch to finish within 1 1/2 lengths over the very impressive Wise Dan (Wiseman's Ferry).

Motion is still haunted by what could've been in the Championships.

"How can you not, when a horse has a troubled trip on that stage on that day with what we were trying to achieve?," Motion commented. "At the same time, you have to be awfully proud of what he did (making his first start since an optional claiming victory in February). It's a little bit of a double-edged sword. On that day, with that caliber of racing, it's so much about the trip. You can't get away with having a bad trip on a day like that."

The G1 Dubai World Cup remains the long-term goal for Animal Kingdom.

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