Team Valor's Animal Kingdom, the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner and champion 3-year-old male, was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his hind end Wednesday, but he is expected to make a return to the races this year.
The son of Leroidesanimaux was sent for a bone scan on Tuesday after he came up lame following a 5-furlong breeze at Palm Meadows Training Center on Saturday. The injury to the ilium, part of the pelvis, is not related to a previous fracture in his left hock he sustained last June and will not require surgery.
Animal Kingdom will be out of training for about 90 days.
"It's something actually that is fairly common, it's something that I come across quite a bit," trainer Graham Motion said of the stress fracture. "The way Dr. Dean Richardson (of the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center) said it to me, it's a combination of good and bad news. Obviously it's a shame he's injured, but if he had to have an injury this is probably one of the better ones as far as prognosis to deal with."
"He'll stay in Florida until we ship out about a month from now and when we bring him up north to Fair Hill, we'll bring him to New Bolton for a follow-up. It's going to be July before he most likely will be under tack again, but hopefully late in the fall he'll be ready to race."
Animal Kingdom returned from a near eight-month hiatus to win an allowance race on the turf at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 18 in striking fashion. The 4-year-old chestnut colt was being pointed toward the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 31 before his latest setback.
"Team Valor's interest is to run the horse for another year," Team Valor CEO Barry Irwin said in a statement. "We will make a decision about whether we want to do that by September, so that if the horse is going to be retired he'll have plenty of chance to be promoted by the start of breeding season.
"Graham Motion and I think we should have a good enough idea by September of whether or not he is the same horse in his training. If he is, we prefer to run him another year and target the Dubai World Cup."