Animal Kingdom, Johnny V. Get Acquainted with Ascot
Jockey John Velazquez and Animal Kingdom were reunited again Wednesday morning as the pair became acquainted with Ascot Racecourse ahead of their tilt at the Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot next month.
With trainer Graham Motion and several of the horse’s owners were also on hand, including Team Valor’s Barry Irwin and Arrowfield Stud’s John Messara, Velazquez and Animal Kingdom walked the parade ring before working about four or five furlongs on the rain-softened turf course.
After the work, Velazquez told reporters, “He hadn’t been on soft turf like today but he handled it very well. I hadn’t ridden him since Gulfstream the February before last, but he felt the same, he’s by far one of the best horses I have ridden.”
Trainer Motion added, “John was very pleased and I’m really happy how he handled the soft grass.This isn’t something I would normally do but I thought this was very important. What we’re doing is so different, every stone we turn over will help.”
Animal Kingdom has been stabled with trainer David Lanigan during his time in England.