Champion Animal Kingdom to begin stud career in Australia

John Messara’s Arrowfield Stud has acquired a majority interest in the breeding rights to Team Valor’s 2011 Kentucky Derby winner and champion Animal Kingdom, who will begin his stud career in Australia next September and likely shuttle to the Northern Hemisphere beginning in 2014.


The 20 Team Valor International partners will maintain a significant interest in the homebred’s stud career. Having most recently run second to Wise Dan in the Breeders’ Cup Mile on November 3 off a 259-day layoff, Animal Kingdom is slated to prep for an expected run in the $10 million Dubai World Cup this coming March 30 with a start in the Grade I Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on February 9.


After the World Cup, the son of Leroidesanimaux will be flown from Dubai to England and considered for an additional start, possibly at Royal Ascot in June.


“Animal Kingdom excites us as a rare kind of athlete with a truly international pedigree who is able to express his class on a range of surfaces,” John Messara said in a release. “He is already rated among the world’s elite turf milers and has the potential to become a global superstar in 2013.”


Animal Kingdom stands to be the only Derby-winning stallion prospect to race into his 5-year-old year since Silver Charm, who scored in the 1997 Kentucky Derby.


“Originally it was our intention to race Animal Kingdom for the entire 2013 season,” Team Valor CEO Barry Irwin said. “However, the prospect of getting the support of John Messara’s Arrowfield Stud in the Southern Hemisphere was so meaningful, that I advised my partners to sublimate their fun and take the deal. It is critically important to get a history-making stallion master behind a new prospect and in John Messara we have that.


“He has developed two of the world’s most successful sires in Danehill and his son, Redoute’s Choice. No way I was going to pass up this opportunity.”


Robin Bruss of Northfields Bloodstock brokered the deal.


Team Valor will form broodmare partnerships to breed to Animal Kingdom, with the plan of selling and racing his offspring around the globe.


Trained by Graham Motion, Animal Kingdom is a graded stakes winner on dirt and synthetic racetracks and has finished first or second in 8 of his 9 career starts, the lone exception being his troubled sixth-place finish in the 2011 Belmont Stakes. He has earned $2,327,500.