BELMONT, N.Y. – Jockey Rajiv Maragh on Sunday will begin serving a seven-day suspension for a careless riding infraction for the incident at the start of last Saturday's Belmont Stakes. The suspension, handed down by the three New York stewards, was originally 10 days but was reduced to seven after Maragh waived his right of appeal.
The blame of Animal Kingdom's bad fortune seems to have fallen on one horse in the Belmont Stakes (G1), but is Isn't He Perfect really the sole horse to blame?
Kentucky Derby champ Animal Kingdom finished in first-place in the final NTRA Three-Year-Old Poll of 2011. The colt led the voting ever since he posted his victory in the Run for the Roses as a 20-1 longshot.
Now what? That was what horse owners and trainers who survived the Triple Crown were thinking Sunday in the wake of Ruler on Ice's improbable victory in the 143rd running of the Belmont Stakes. With long-shot winners in each of the three legs of the series, the 3-year-old division is still in search of a champion.
If one image sums up the scrambled state of this year's three-year-old division, it's Animal Kingdom's clipping heels in the opening strides of Saturday's Belmont Stakes, eliminating his chances before the real running even started. The same tired theme has repeated itself all season: a talented colt, on the verge of solidifying his status as the leader of the classic generation, was tripped up -- only this time, it happened literally and not just figuratively.
Animal Kingdom finished a hard-charging second in the Preakness Stakes. He was within a half a length of Shackleford at the finish and he was closing fast. He had no excuse for the result.
Animal Kingdom leads the pack of favorites if trainer Graham Motion decides to run him in this year's edition of the Belmont Stakes. The horse came in 2nd during the Preakness, and lost by less than a length to Shackleford.
Animal Kingdom, the Kentucky Derby winner, will be sent to Belmont Park this weekend to prepare for the June 11 Belmont Stakes and is slated to work a half-mile there on Monday, Barry Irwin, the president of the Team Valor International partnership that owns Animal Kingdom, informed on Tuesday morning.
In the second of three weekly polls leading up to the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 11 Animal Kingdom continues to lead the way in the Thoroughbred Times Road to the Triple Crown poll of editors, reporters, and correspondents.