Although criticized for his ride aboard Animal Kingdom in last month's Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap, Joel Rosario will be in the saddle when the 2011 Kentucky Derby champ starts in the Dubai World Cup on March 30.
"I've never been a big believer of taking riders off horses just because they make one mistake," trainer Graham Motion said. "It's not a science. Sometimes it takes an experience like that to get to know a horse better. I think all riders are open to making the odd mistake."
Owned by Team Valor, Animal Kingdom was second behind Point of Entry in his first start since finishing second in the Breeders' Cup Mile to Wise Dan last November at Santa Anita. Rosario had never before ridden the 5-year-old in a race.
"I'd like to think it gave him a really good, solid race under his belt. He seems like he's sharper and perhaps a little more focused," Motion said about Animal Kingdom. "His works since then have been good. I'd like to think that put him right where we wanted him to be."
Along with the 2011 Run for the Roses, Animal Kingdom also won the Spiral Stakes and was second in that year's Preakness Stakes.