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Animal Kingdom, 2011 Kentucky Derby Champ, Wins Dubai World Cup

Animal Kingdom, winner of the 2011 Kentucky Derby, ran to a two-length victory in the $10 million Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race.

Animal Kingdom, ridden by Joel Rosario with 11-2 odds, captured the 1 1/4-mile event at Meydan Racecourse in a time of two minutes, 03.21 seconds. The 5-year-old is the first American horse to win the World Cup since Well Armed in 2009.

“Turning for home, he was looking around,” said Rosario. “I was hoping I had enough horse left because it’s a long stretch.”

Red Cadeaux, at 25-1, was second, with 10-1 shot Planteur third in the 12-horse field.

Barry Irwin’s Team Valor sold a majority interest in Animal Kingdom to John Messara’s Arrowfield Stud, based north of Sydney in Scone, Australia. The stallion, with $8.4 million in lifetime winnings, will begin his stud career in Australia in September.

Royal Delta set the early pace ahead of Side Glance, Animal Kingdom and 11-4 favorite Hunter’s Light. Rosario took Animal Kingdom to the front with about 2 ½ furlongs left and held off a late charge from Red Cadeaux along the rail for the win.

Hunter’s Light faded and finished back in the pack. Defending champion Monterosso was scratched from the race earlier yesterday after becoming lame.

Animal Kingdom won the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of U.S. racing’s Triple Crown, as a 20-1 longshot. He was favored in the remaining two races, but finished second at the Preakness Stakes and sixth at the Belmont Stakes.

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