More thoroughbred racing history was made Saturday by Animal Kingdom when he became just the second Kentucky Derby champ to capture the Dubai World Cup.
Almost two years after winning the Run for the Roses, the 5-year-old joins Silver Charm as the only two horses to win both the Kentucky Derby and the $10 million World Cup. Silver Charm won the 1997 Derby and one year later the richest race in the world.
Trained by Graham Motion, Animal Kingdom got a masterful ride by Joel Rosario in the 1 1/4-mile World Cup. The horse pressed the pace being set by two-time Eclipse Award winner Royal Delta and swept past her coming off the final turn.
"Credit to the jock," said Team Valor's Barry Irwin. "As bonehead a ride as he gave last time, he gave him a brilliant ride this time."
In February's Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap, Animal Kingdom was second behind Point of Entry as Rosario rode the horse for the first time in a race and drew critics.
"I've never been a big believer of taking riders off horses just because they make one mistake," Motion said in announcing Rosario's retention. "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."
In 11 career starts Animal Kingdom has been first five times and second in an equal number of races. His only finish out of the money was a sixth in the 2011 Belmont Stakes.