Despite the towering influence of the Kentucky Derby in the narrative of each year’s racing season, winners of the Run for the Roses don’t play an over-sized role in the sales of 2-year-olds in training that present some of the most forward young racing prospects at auction each winter and spring.
Two Kentucky Derby winners, however, have a sizable segment of their first crops in the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s March sale of select 2-year-olds. Both Animal Kingdom (by Leroidesanimaux) and Orb (Malibu Moon) went to stud in Kentucky the same year, 2014, and have juveniles in the March sale.
In the case of Animal Kingdom, 2014 was his second covering season because he initially entered stud at Arrowfield in Australia for the Southern Hemisphere season in 2013, then migrated north to Darley’s Jonabell operation. The rangy chestnut son of champion turf horse Leroidesanimaux, therefore, has his first crop of juveniles already racing in Australia, and he recently had a sharp-looking maiden winner, Earth Angel, who won a maiden special last week.
Such was the reputation of Animal Kingdom’s great victories in the 10-furlong Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup that many fans think of him as a pure stayer, but the horse was also a cracking second in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Mile behind Horse of the Year Wise Dan, who was essentially invincible at the distance.
So there is form at a mile for the 2011 Eclipse champion 3-year-old colt, and there are pedigree elements that suggest Animal Kingdom could be bred in the direction of speed to get quicker, handier horses that would mature earlier, would be adaptable to 2-year-old racing and preparation.
Animal Kingdom is, after all, from the Blushing Groom branch of Nasrullah, and the Kentucky Derby winner’s sire earned the Eclipse Award as leading turf horse of 2005 for his high form with trainer Bobby Frankel in races at a mile. Furthermore, Animal Kingdom is inbred 4×4 to the top miler and top international sire Lyphard (Northern Dancer).
From the limited evidence of the 2017 sales season, Animal Kingdom may prove quite popular. At the Gulfstream sale two weeks ago, an Animal Kingdom colt bred by Walter Zent, Tony Holmes, and Tim Thornton and sold through the Eddie Woods consignment, went to West Point Thoroughbreds for $300,000.
At the OBS March sale, there are nine more juveniles consigned who are sons or daughters of Animal Kingdom. Of these, Hip 19 at Halcyon Hammock is a chestnut colt out of the Sky Mesa mare Mesa Fresca, which makes the juvenile a half-brother to 2016 G1 stakes winner Harmonize (Scat Daddy), winner of the G1 Del Mar Oaks and second in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland. Both of those races were on turf, and a turf thread is present in several of these precocious young prospects like Hip 227, a chestnut colt from the Eddie Woods consignment and the first foal of a young Street Cry mare who is a half-sister to Mr. Speaker (Pulpit), a G1 winner on turf.
The following are sales results for the Animal Kingdom 2yos at OBS March 2017:
Hip, Breeze time, sex and pedigree, consignor, buyer, price
19 10.4 C Animal Kingdom x Mesa Fresca Halcyon Hammock Farm, Agent III
75,000 Not Sold
27 21.0 C Animal Kingdom x Miss Lombardi Eddie Woods, Agent IX Solis / Litt
36 out C Animal Kingdom x Mooji’s Empire Top Line Sales LLC, Agent X Withdrawn
65 10.1 F Animal Kingdom x Oregon Lady (IRE) Craig L. Wheeler, Agent Leroy Jolley, agent for Willow Pond Stable
102 10.2 C Animal Kingdom x Private Dining King’s Equine, Agent II 57,000
227 out C Animal Kingdom x Street Dancer Eddie Woods, Agent LV Withdrawn
271 out C Animal Kingdom x TulipmaniaCrupi’s New Castle Farm, Agent V Withdrawn
389 10.2 C Animal Kingdom x Boleyn Eisaman Equine, Agent Plesa, Ellman & Melin 205,000
547 out F Animal Kingdom x Four Gifts de Meric Sales, Agent VIII Withdrawn