Animal Kingdom's first Group 1 performer

It’s been a progressive fortnight for second season sire Animal Kingdom, with three new winners in Australia and his first Group 1 performer in the United States.

Untamed Domain, already a Grade 2 winner this northern summer, made a big impression when second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf G1 on 3 November, after coming from the back of the pack and running 68 feet further than the winner Mendelssohn.

Sent out by Animal Kingdom’s trainer Graham Motion, Untamed Domain, out of two-time stakeswinner Ciao (by Lear Fan), is raced by West Point Thoroughbreds who have every reason to look forward to plenty more success with him. 

Untamed Domain heads a group of seven winners that have driven Animal Kingdom’s rise to third position on the US First Crop Sires’ list. with prizemoney of $US803,254. 

Back in Australia this week, two Arrowfield graduates from Animal Kingdom’s first Southern Hemisphere crop won successive races at Ballarat.  

First-up was Peaceful State who fought out the finish of the 1400-metre maiden with his stablemate Captain Henry, leaving six lengths of daylight back to the third horse.

Watch Peaceful State win at Ballarat.

Peaceful State is the last foal of Weekend Beauty (by Helissio), celebrated as the dam of Horse of the Year Weekend Hussler, and he is trained by Darren Weir for Katsumi Yoshida, who bred him with Arrowfield. The colt’s likely next assignment will be the $250,000 Sandown Guineas G2 on 18 November.

In the next race, Roar (ex Line Honours by Hussonet)  led all the way and proved too strong over 1600 metres, winning by a length from Pollinator & Bradbury.

Watch Roar win at Ballarat.

Roar (ex Line Honours by Hussonet) was a $200,000 purchase for Champion Thoroughbreds & Matchem Genetics from Arrowfield’s 2016 Magic Millions draft. He is trained by Robert Smerdon who said after the win, “[Roar] has really improved with blinkers and he enjoyed getting out to 1600m today…he will only get better the further he goes.” 

A couple of promising placegetters look close to breakthrough wins. Team Valor’s 3YO filly Oleksandra was third at Randwick on Tuesday, and Godolphin’s 2YO colt Rheingau was third on debut at Rosehill on Saturday.

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.

Quality wins by Animal Kingdom 2YOs

As Arrowfield prepares to welcome Animal Kingdom back for the 2017 season, excitement is growing about his future as a sire, thanks to six first-crop winners in Australia and two, including a Listed winner, in the United States.

His latest winners, one in each hemisphere in the past week, have advertised his prospects with quality maiden victories for leading stables.

The second day of Saratoga’s famous Summer Meet, on 22 July, brought up Animal Kngdom’s second winner from his first five US runners. 2YO colt Untamed Domain joined Animal Kingdom’s Australian daughter Earth Angel as a TDN Rising Star when he overcame a mid-race hold-up to power home for a stylish win over 8.5 furlongs on turf.

Watch Untamed Domain win at Saratoga. (courtesy of TDN)

Fourth at his debut on 2 July, Untamed Domain is in the care of his sire’s trainer, Graham Motion and is raced by West Point Thoroughbreds, which purchased him from the 2016 Keeneland September Sale for $US90,000.

Motion, who visited Australia in January 2016 to see Animal Kingdom’s first yearlings sold at Magic Millions, said, “I’m so impressed with Untamed Domain who got stopped in his tracks three furlongs out and won for fun.

“He showed his Dad’s turn of foot and seems to have his calm demeanour. I hope to run him back in the Grade 3 With Anticipation later in the meet which is a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.”

The $US150,000 With Anticipation Stakes G3, also run over 8.5 furlongs on turf, will be held on Wednesday 30 August.

Untamed Domain’s stakes-winning dam Ciao (by Roberto’s son Lear Fan) is descended from French Group 1 winner Smuggly whose daughters have been successful producers in Japan, South Africa and Brazil as well as North America.

Animal Kingdom has already sired his first US stakeswinner, the Ken McPeek-trained filly Sunny Skies who followed up her April debut win with success in the Debutante S. LR at Churchill Downs on 30 June.

Godolphin’s 2YO gelding Animalia tackled 1600 metres at Gosford on 20 July and gave those who backed him into favouritism no worries at all as he began sharply, took an easy sit behind Dashing Special and sprinted clear to win by 7.5 lengths.

Watch Animalia win at Gosford.

Animalia is the sixth winner left by Royal Ascot stakeswinner Hold To Ransom (by Red Ransom), already the dam of Group winner Retrieve and Listed winners Reparations & Abduction. This is also the family of Prince Bishop who, like Animal Kingdom, won the Dubai World Cup G1.

Animal Kingdom’s other Australian winners this season include Flemington winner Royal Phoenix, Earth Angel (also fourth in the ATC Fernhill S. LR), and Group 3-placed Lord Cecil.