Animal Kingdom, the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner, won the $10 million Dubai World Cup by 2 lengths over Red Cadeaux.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Animal Kingdom showed an American-based runner can win the world’s richest horse race on a synthetic track, pulling away down the stretch Saturday in the $10 million Dubai World Cup.
The 2011 Kentucky Derby winner, ridden by Joel Rosario, held off fast-charging Red Cadeaux to win by 2 lengths.
A U.S.-based horse hadn’t won the World Cup since 2009 — and especially since it was moved to Meydan Racecourse in 2010, the American runners had struggled on the Tapeta racing surface.
Trainer Graham Motion said before the race he wanted to show the Kentucky Derby victory was no fluke and that 5-year-old Animal Kingdom had overcome injuries that prevented him from competing in the Dubai World Cup last year.
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“He’s just an extraordinary animal,” Motion said. “He reminded me very much of the Derby today, the way he won.”
Silver Charm, who won the Kentucky Derby in 1997 and the World Cup a year later, and Animal Kingdom are the only horses to win both events. Silver Charm won the Group I World Cup on a dirt surface at Nad Al Sheba.
Animal Kingdom ran 2,000 meters in 2 minutes, 3.21 seconds.
Simulcast bettors at Emerald Downs in Auburn got a return of $7.40 for every $2 wagered to win on Animal Kingdom.
Dullahan, ridden by Gary Stevens, finished 11th of 12. Stevens, 50, was the leading rider at Longacres in Renton in 1983 and 1984.
Orb wins Florida Derby
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — Orb beat 17-10 favorite Itsmyluckyday by 2 ¾ lengths to win the $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park.
Trained by Shug McGaughey and ridden by John Velazquez, Orb ran 1-1/8 miles in 1:50.87. The colt paid $7.80 to win in the Grade I race that is a prep for the May 4 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
• Favored Revolutionary won the $1 million Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, beating 19-1 shot Mylute by a neck in the Grade II event.
Revolutionary, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Javier Castellano, ran 1-1/8 miles in 1:50.28. The colt paid $6.80 to win.