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.