ANIMAL KINGDOM, with Barry Irwin at his head, Johnny V on his back – www.horse-races.net PHOTO




WILD KINGDOM – 103 BEYER for Animal Kingdom

Interesting storylines in the Kentucky Derby were abound. Women, men, horses, surfaces, trainers, jocks, you name it.

The winning storyline was a bit of a mix of some of those.

ANIMAL KINGDOM stormed down the centre of the Churchill Downs dirt to win the 10 furlong American classic, giving jockey JOHN VELASQUEZ his first Derby win after he just lost Uncle Mo – interesting how that works!

Owner BARRY IRWIN, the master of the TEAM VALOR KINGDOM which has been getting people together to own racehorses for years – looked shellshocked, as did GRAHAM MOTION, who also lost a Derby runner right before the race – TOBY’S CORNER.

And what about ANIMAL KINGDOM?

If you watched him with the SPIRAL (see the Thoroughblog posting the day after for some cool shots of him) then you were impressed, and many people were.

But what about the dreaded POLYTRACK TO dirt SWITCH?

The chestnut had never tried dirt before and let’s be frank, his pedigree – LEROIDESANIMAUX, the Woodbine Mile winner who has not exactly set the world on fire at stud, would not be thought of as a dirt sire and the mare, DALICIA, by Acatenengo (GER), well, it’s German. (Hey , if you like the letter D..every horse under this guy’s 3 dams, some 20 horses, all start with the letter ‘d’)

Anyway, the colt had a big work on the dirt at Churchill and that video was made available on YouTube and through Raceday 360 – he sure looked good in the prep. He sure looked good after the Derby too.

There was not much pace in the race, that’s for sure – 6 furllongs in 1:12 and change is slow and goes to show you that the group is a non-descript one.

And why was DIALED IN sooo far back and loping along like he was not even interested? What was going on there?

SO, Barry Irwin, who apparently called his previous trainers ‘non-truth tellers’, or something like that (see the press conference transcript) to the press (he had Animal Kingdom and others with Wayne Catalano recently), and then took Robby Albarado off, may not be the most popular winner of the Derby – Velasquez either for that fact after his LIFE AT TEN fiasco – but the horse is cool – and that is all that matters.

louisville courier-journal – While walking back to the jockey’s room after the 12th race, Albarado refused to be photographed by television cameras.

“I’m not happy,” he said. “ … But I congratulate Mr. Graham and Mr. Irwin – Robby Albarado





Queen’s Plate picture heats up – 97 Beyer for the Chill

BEAR’S CHILL iced the Queenston as expected (although curiously, not many people picked him and he was 5 to 2 3rd favourite on the morning line odds..) and 7 furlongs in 1:21 4/5, with not a lot of encouragement, got him a 97 Beyer Figure, huge…

The colt, by Artie Schiller out of BISON CITY STAKES WINNER Silver Nithi, is headed to the JUNE 5 PLATE TRIAL STAKES.

SAY NO MORE ran a huge race after a short layoff from his season opener win as he chased the Chill all the way. He is not eligible to the Plate.

OH CANADA was hindered by the soft opening 2 furlongs but was outrun and BLACK N BEAUTY was dull.

Later on the card – the resurgent CHIEFSWOOD STABLE won it’s 2nd, last-race-onthecard-= in 7 day with KUROGANE, it’s Plate hopeful. This looks like a good colt as he was very well trained by Paul Attard, he waited behind horses under Eamma-Jayne Wilson and then darted up the fence to win by more than 4 lengths with a 76 Beyer Figure.

The colt is a son of NIIGON, the Plate winner.