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Rosario to Ride Animal Kingdom in Dubai

March 13, 2013

by Blood-Horse Staff

Trainer Graham Motion confirmed March 13 that Joel Rosario will have the return mount aboard Animal Kingdom in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) on March 30.

Motion had been critical of Rosario's first ride aboard Team Valor International's winner of the 2011 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf (gr. IT) on Feb. 9, when he made an aggressive early inside move along the backstretch to get the lead on the far turn, only to be caught by Point of Entry in the stretch

"I've never been a big believer of taking riders off horses just because they make one mistake. It's not a science. Sometimes it takes an experience like that to get to know a horse better. I think all riders are open to making the odd mistake," Motion said.

Rosario is currently second in the jockey standings in his first full meeting at Gulfstream Park.

Animal Kingdom, who worked seven furlongs on the turf in 1:26.77 at Palm Meadows March 11, appears to have benefited from the experience in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.

"I'd like to think it gave him a really good, solid race under his belt. He seems like he's sharper and perhaps a little more focused," Motion said. "His works since then have been good. I'd like to think that put him right where we wanted him to be."

The 5-year-old son of Leroidesanimaux is scheduled to work at Palm Meadows March 18 and be shipped to Dubai on March 19.