Velazquez Eager to Reunite with Animal Kingdom at Royal Ascot
Jockey John Velazquez is eagerly anticipating this week’s Royal Ascot meet. The Hall of Fame rider will get the week started off with a bang when he reunites with his 2011 G1 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom in the Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-I), the first race on the opening day card.
It will be the first time that Velazquez has ridden the chestnut horse since the two teamed up to capture an allowance/optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park in February 2012. Since that time, Animal Kingdom has won the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) and was second in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile and G1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.
The Queen Anne is set to be the career finale for Animal Kingdom, who will begin his stud career in Australia later this summer. Velazquez is looking forward to riding Animal Kingdom, and is confident that the Dubai World Cup winner will prove to be one of the best in the world.
“For a horse to come and run on different surfaces and have done what he has done, there are aren’t that many horses,” Velazquez told the Herald Scotland. “The only one I know so far to have done so well on Polytrack, dirt and then on grass is Wise Dan, last year’s Horse of the Year.”
Read more in the Herald Scotland