Third stakeswinner for Animal Kingdom

It’s been a progressive weekend in both hemispheres for Animal Kingdom, thanks to his third stakeswinner, an impressive debut winner, a repeat winner and a Grade 2 placegetter.

His 2YO son Untamed Domain, already a winner and Grade 3-placed, started second favourite for the $US200,000 Summer S. G2 over one mile on turf at Woodbine on Sunday. The favourite Hemp Hemp Hooray looked likely to take the race out until Untamed Domain rallied late to catch him just short of the line.

The race is a Win & You’re In qualifier for the  $US1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf G1 in November. 

Watch Untamed Domain win the Woodbine Summer S. G2.

Bred by Clearsky Farms, Untamed Domain is prepared by Animal Kingdom’s trainer Graham Motion for West Point Thoroughbreds. The colt is the fourth and best winner out of the stakes-winning mare Ciao (by Roberto’s son Lear Fan), a grand-daughter of French Group 1 winner Smuggly.

Untamed Domain completed a Woodbine weekend double for Animal Kingdom, following the five-length debut success of 2YO filly Grace And Dignity in a six-furlong maiden  on Saturday. She is the fourth winner from Animal Kingdom’s first Northern Hemisphere crop. 

Watch Grace And Dignity win on debut at Woodbine.

Grace And Dignity’s dam is 7-time winner Precision Farming, by Mr. Prospector’s son Smart Strike, from the family of Grade 2 winners Dream About and Deeply Undervalued. Go a little further back in the pedigree, and up pops Secret Verdict, the fifth dam of Champion Sire Snitzel. 

Meanwhile in Australia, the Darley home-bred 3YO Animalia posted his second win over 1600 metres at Newcastle on Friday. His dam is the grand producer Hold To Ransom (by Red Ransom), whose earlier progeny include Group 3 winner Retrieve and Listed winners Abduction and Reparations. 

Watch Animalia win at Newcastle.

Animal Kingdom, currently serving his fourth Australian book of mares at Arrowfield, is also the sire of US stakeswinnerContinental Divide and the filly Sunny Skies, third in the Churchill Downs Pocahontas S. G2, a few hours after Grace And Dignity’s success.

The Dubai World Cup champion’s other Australian winners are TDN Rising Star Earth Angel, Lord Cecil (also Group-placed at two), Barbary, Royal Phoenix and Platinum.

Animal Kingdom's first stakeswinner

Animal Kingdom’s US-bred daughter Sunny Skies has become his first stakeswinner with a decisive victory at Churchill Downs on Friday evening.

A thunderstorm made the skies anything but sunny, and the subsequent 50-minute delay made the six-furlong $US100,000 Debutante S. LR for 2YO fillies more than usually testing. However, Sunny Skies  took it all in her stride, taking up an early lead alongside Rockin’ Royalty and skipping clear in the straight to hold off Upset Brewing’s late challenge by 1.75 lengths, with Waki Patriot third.

Watch Sunny Skies win the Churchill Downs Debutante S. LR (TDN Race Replay)

Sunny Skies gave Animal Kingdom the perfect start to his northern hemisphere stud career when she won her Keeneland debut by nine lengths on 27 April. Bred and raced by Nancy Polk’s Normandy Farm, Sunny Skies is out of the unraced Marquetry mare Skyscape, and is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Sky Cape. 

Animal Kingdom’s first Australian 2YOs have given him a good start “downunder” with 12 of his 16 runners  weighing in this season. His five winners include Group 3-placed winner Lord Cecil, Flemington winner Royal Phoenix and TDN Rising Star Earth Angel, who has major Spring targets on her 2017/18 agenda.

Animal Kingdom has completed his fourth northern hemisphere season at Darley America and returns to Arrowfield where he will be available this Spring at a fee of $27,500 inc. GST.

First American winner for Animal Kingdom

The name of Animal Kingdom’s first US starter and winner, 2YO filly Sunny Skies, may well turn out to be an accurate forecast of the young sire’s prospects as he begins to build momentum with his first crop runners in both hemispheres. 

Smart showings at a series of local breezes ensured strong betting support for Sunny Skies when she lined up over 4.5 furlongs (900 metres) at Keeneland on Thursday and she duly delivered, taking an early lead and opening up in the home straight to score an unpressured nine-length victory.

Watch Sunny Skies win on debut at Keeneland. (Race replay courtesy of TDN)

A daughter of the unraced mare Skyscape (by Marquetry), Sunny Skies is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Sky Cape and is trained by Kenny McPeek for owner-breeder Nancy Polk’s Normandy Farm. 

It’s been a good week for Animal Kingdom who posted his third Australian winner, after Earth Angel & Platinum, when the Paul Messara-trained Arrowfield 2YO gelding Lord Cecil (ex Lady Zabelia by Zabeel) won his debut at Muswellbrook on 21 April.

He also added a couple of new placegetters when Table Mountain (ex Aliyana Tilde by Snitzel) and Barbary (ex Amatista by Scenic) filled the placings in a juvenile handicap at Wyong on 27 April.