Really, the frustration began at last year’s Belmont.
That’s when Animal Kingdom, Graham Motion’s finest horse to date, was cut off and, while veering away, clipped heels and almost tossed his jockey. It took a thunderous run at the end – the colt’s specialty – to place sixth after winning the Kentucky Derby and finishing a close second at the Preakness.
Animal Kingdom was injured in that race, suffering a fracture in his left hind leg that would require surgery. He spent the rest of the year resting and rehabbing.
He returned to the track and won at Gulfstream in February, only to have his planned trip to the Dubai World Cup...