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By Kevin Van Valkenburg, The Baltimore Sun | May 20, 2011
Trainer Graham Motion has made his final preparations for the Preakness, and feels confident Animal Kingdom will run well Saturday. By the time betting closed Friday night, Animal Kingdom had slipped a bit in the eyes of betters. Dialed In will begin Saturday as a 3-1 favorite, and Animal Kingdom is currently the second choice at 7-2, but none of that matters at all to Motion. "I just couldn't be happier with how he's doing," Motion said of Animal Kingdom, who will ship from Fair Hill around 5 a.m. Saturday.
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SPORTS
By Sandra McKee and Baltimore Sun reporter | May 19, 2011
A year ago, when Barbara Jo Rubin agreed to compete in the first Lady's Legends race at Pimlico Race Course, she discovered how uncomfortable it can be to ride a horse when you haven't done it in 40 years. Afterward, not knowing if there would be another Legends race, which raised $100,000 for the Susan G. Komen cancer fund, she decided to keep training horses and stay in shape. If there was going to be a race, she'd be ready. But the best laid plans, as they say . . . "I was galloping eight or nine horses every morning and I felt wonderful," she said of her post-Preakness week routine.
SPORTS
By Kevin Van Valkenburg and Baltimore Sun staff | May 18, 2011
Animal Kingdom, the longshot Kentucky Derby winner, today was named the 2-1 favorite for Saturday's 136th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Dialed In, who is eligible for a $5.5 million bonus if he wins the Preakness, is the 9-2 second choice. Animal Kingdom, who is based in Fair Hill Training Center where trainer Graham Motion has his operations, will arrive at Pimlico on race day. He'll start from the No. 11 spot, with Dialed In at No. 10. Today was a big day for arrivals at Pimlico, with Mucho Macho Man, third in the Derby, being the first to arrive this morning.
SPORTS
By Kevin Van Valkenburg, The Baltimore Sun | May 18, 2011
Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom was made an early 2-1 favorite for the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes after the post position draw on Wednesday. The chestnut colt, who is ridden by jockey John Velazquez and trained by Maryland's Graham Motion, will run against a full field of 14 horses. It's the first time the Preakness has had a full field since 2005. Animal Kingdom drew the No. 11 post position in the draw, a development Motion said he was the best possible outcome for his horse.
SPORTS
By Kevin Van Valkenburg, The Baltimore Sun | May 17, 2011
Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom had another strong workout Tuesday, perhaps his most focused exercise since arriving in Maryland, despite the fact that it was raining at the Fair Hill Training Center. Instead of running him in the mud, trainer Graham Motion sent Animal Kingdom out on the Tapeta Footings synthetic track for the second straight day, but he instructed jockey David Nava to make Animal Kingdom chase after a series of horses staggered in front of him to get the Derby winner back into the groove of racing.
SPORTS
By Kevin Van Valkenburg, The Baltimore Sun | May 17, 2011
Trainer Graham Motion said Monday that he's leaning strongly toward bringing Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom to Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, the day of the Preakness Stakes, instead of bringing him in Friday and having him stay overnight in an unfamiliar environment. Since he won the Derby on May 7, Animal Kingdom has been settling in at his new home at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, where Motion has his base of operations. "I'm really thinking I'm leaning that way right now," Motion said.
SPORTS
By Kevin Van Valkenburg | May 17, 2011
Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom had another strong workout Tuesday morning, perhaps his most focused exercise since arriving in Maryland, despite the fact that it was raining at the Fair Hill Training Center. Instead of running him in the mud, trainer Graham Motion sent Animal Kingdom out on the Tapeta Footings synthetic track for the second straight day, but he instructed jockey David Nava to make Animal Kingdom chase after a series of horses staggered in front of him to get the Derby winner back into the groove of racing.
SPORTS
By Kevin Van Valkenburg and The Baltimore Sun | May 16, 2011
Trainer Graham Motion said this morning he's leaning strongly toward bringing Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom to Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, the day of the Preakness Stakes, instead of arrriving Friday and having him stay overnight in an unfamiliar environment. Animal Kingdom has been settling in at his new home at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, where Motion has his base of operations, since he won the Kentucky Derby on May 7. "I'm really thinking I'm leaning that way right now," Motion told The Sun. "I'm just not sure I see any benefit to bringing him in on Friday.
SPORTS
By Kevin Van Valkenburg, The Baltimore Sun | May 16, 2011
Prior to the Kentucky Derby, most horse racing handicappers and experts looked at Animal Kingdom as little more than a turf horse. He had never run on dirt, and his bloodlines seemed to imply he'd be far more comfortable on grass. He had very little racing experience, and in the four races he had run, he had four different jockeys. Animal Kingdom was certainly pretty to look at, but to most people, he didn't feel like a Derby winner. Even the partnership that owns him had doubts the Run for the Roses was the right race for him. Prior to the first Saturday in May, anyone calling him a legitimate Triple Crown contender would have been laughed at. A relatively easy victory in the sport's signature race, however, has a way of prompting reassessment.
SPORTS
By From Sun Staff Reports | May 13, 2011
Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom had a special visitor Friday when Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid stopped by to watch the colt go out for his morning exercise at Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton. Trainer Graham Motion said Animal Kingdom jogged a half-mile and galloped a mile with a pony and another horse to keep him company. "Everything seems to be going good," Motion said. "Hopefully he's oblivious to what is going on around him. " Motion has been happy to talk about the sport of horse racing this week.
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