Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom out for the season [Sports]

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It was just announced that Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom will miss the remainder of the racing year due to an injury suffered in the Belmont Stakes. The injury is believed to have occurred when Animal Kingdom clipped heels near the start of the Belmont, nearly stumbled to the ground, and almost unseated jockey John Velzaquez.  The pair was able to regroup and finished fifth.

In the days following his Belmont loss to Ruler On Ice, Animal Kingdom was diagnosed with a small fissure on the tip of the cannon bone where it joins the lower part of the hock. This was thought to be a minor injury that would not prevent the colt from continuing his campaign later this season.

However, upon a recent review of additional x-rays, it was discovered that the injury was more severe than previously suspected. A slab fracture was discovered just above the small fissure. A screw will be inserted to compress the fracture and the procedure will require about 90 days of rehabilitation.

Animal Kingdom's connections, Barry Irwin and Team Valor International, are optimistic that the colt will race next year and are aiming to have Animal Kingdom ready for the Dubai World Cup next March.

Photo: Courtesy Kentucky Derby