Trainer Graham Motion confirmed Wednesday that Joel Rosario will have the return mount aboard Animal Kingdom in the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 30.
Motion had been critical of Rosario's first ride aboard his 2011 Kentucky Derby winner in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf (G1) on Feb. 9, when he made an aggressive early inside move along the backstretch to get the lead on the far turn, only to be caught by Point of Entry in the stretch.
“I've never been a big believer of taking riders off horses just because they make one mistake. 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,” Motion said.
Rosario, who rode Animal Kingdom for the first time on Feb. 9, is currently second in the jockey standings in his first fulltime meeting at Gulfstream.
Animal Kingdom, who worked seven furlongs on turf in 1:26.77 at Palm Meadows on Monday, appears to have benefited from the experience in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.
“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. “His works since then have been good. I'd like to think that put him right where we wanted him to be.”
Animal Kingdom is scheduled to work at Palm Meadow next Monday and be shipped to Dubai on Tuesday.
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