Trainer Graham Motion and Team Valor CEO Barry Irwin watched Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom gallop 1¾ miles Tuesday morning on the 7-furlong Tapeta artificial surface at Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md. Motion said he will not give the colt a formal workout before Saturday's 13/16-mile Preakness, saying he thinks he's fit enough. Animal Kingdom did not exercise on Fair Hill's mile dirt oval because heavy rain made it sloppy.
"He's galloping fairly strongly, anyway,'' Motion said of his choice to pass on a timed work. "Maybe on Thursday or Friday, we might let him finish up a little bit more, but nothing out of the ordinary.''
Motion, who keeps his 124-horse string at rural Fair Hill, likes to avoid "racetrack craziness'' whenever possible. Fair Hill is only about an hour's van ride from Pimlico, and Motion said he's 90-percent certain that Animal Kingdom will not arrive until Saturday morning.
"I don't see any reason to do it any differently,'' Motion said. "That's the way I'm leaning. I just don't see any need to change his world on Friday. He's here, he's happy, and I just don't see any benefit to getting him over there the day before.''
Motion is hoping for "a halfway decent post position'' at the draw Wednesday at 5 p.m. A full field of 14 is expected.