There's no doubt that the top choice ANIMAL KINGDOM is the one to beat this Saturday in the second leg of the Triple Crown. He may be our best chance at breaking the Triple Crown drought since AFFIRMED last won it in 1978. I'll post my Preakness picks on Friday, for whoever is most likely to finish behind ANIMAL KINGDOM. There are some new characters in the mix all aiming to beat him, the distance is shorter — one mile and one-eight — and the track is faster, speed-favoring. ANIMAL KINGDOM will be tested to the limits of his class, but I have faith.
Lauren Stich, the Racing Form's undisputed pedigree expert, also picked ANIMAL KINGDOM to win the Derby, based on the strength of his sire, LEROIDESANIMAUX. Amazingly, this horse was overlooked as a sire despite having broken three track records (two in America and one in Canada) during his relatively brief racing career. Here he is, shattering the Atto Mile at Woobbine, Canada, in 2005. Note of interest — Johnny V. Was aboard for this win, so he has ridden father and son to stakes victories:
And here is LEROIDESANIMAUX as a totally adorable baby foal in Brazil, his great days still ahead but already with the bearing of a champion: