Denali Stud

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June 11, 2013

European Bloodstock News

Gr.1 Kentucky Derby and Gr.1 Dubai World Cup winner

Animal Kingdom will write his most historic chapter on

18th June at Royal Ascot, when he becomes the first

Kentucky Derby winner to run at Ascot since Triple Crown

winner Omaha in 1936. And yet his celebrated story

actually begins at the picturesque Denali Stud in Paris,

Kentucky, thousands of miles away from his much

anticipated run in the Gr.1 Queen Anne Stakes next week.

He even draws interesting parallels with Denali’s Craig

Bandoroff, both having overcome career-threatening

injuries to end up at the top of their game in the sport of

thoroughbred horse racing.


At final odds of 21-1, Animal Kingdom came into 2011’s

Kentucky Derby as just another face in a 19-horse field. He

won in commanding fashion, but could not repeat his

winning form the rest of 2011 while overcoming an injury he

suffered during the Gr.1 Belmont Stakes in New York City.


Likewise, New Jersey native Bandoroff has also suffered

setbacks in his career due to injury, giving up a promising

career as a jockey after a crippling accident in 1974. It

would have been easy to count him out, much like the

chorus of nay-sayers who thought Animal Kingdom may

go down as another one-hit Kentucky Derby wonder.

Instead, this setback eventually set the stage for many of

the top racehorses over the last couple decades,

including Animal Kingdom.


Twenty-three years after opening his doors, Bandoroff is

best known as founder and owner of Denali Stud (Denali is

translated from the Cree language to mean “The High

One” or “The Great One”). Denali has become

synonymous with excellence in the thoroughbred industry,

consistently placing among the top five consignors of

bloodstock and providing an idyllic place to foal and raise



Little did Bandoroff know that in 2008, a foal by the

unheralded Brazilian stallion Leroidesanimaux, out of an

even less heralded German mare would forever place his

operation in the annals of racing history.


“Animal Kingdom was foaled and raised at Denali for

Team Valor, which is spearheaded by our longtime friend

and client Barry Irwin,” Bandoroff said. “Denali sold Animal

Kingdom as a yearling, and my wife and I were members of

the Team Valor partnerships that bred and raced him.”

After a disappointing 2012 season ending with a narrow

loss in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita race track,

Animal Kingdom was pointed to the Dubai World Cup this

year. Despite a journey half way across the globe, Animal

Kingdom once again showed his Champion’s heart by

winning the world’s richest race with a purse of $10

million. His historic racing career will end on 18th June in

the Queen Anne Stakes and with a victory will give him

Gr.1 victories at arguably the three most prestigious race

meets in the world on three different surfaces – dirt, turf

and all-weather.


“We named Denali in honor of Mount McKinley, the

highest peak in North America,” continued Bandoroff. “We

stated from day one that we only wanted to play this great

game at the highest levels. Animal Kingdom has taken us

there, and then some.”

The select clientele who utilize Denali to board their

horses, sell their horses, or buy their horses, also choose

to operate at the highest levels. Under Bandoroff’s

direction, Denali has sold $403 million worth of bloodstock

at auction since 1990; has ranked among the top five

yearling consignors six times and among the top ten

broodmare consignors eleven times since 2000; has sold

sales toppers in both Europe and the US.


Horses foaled, raised, and/or sold by Denali include:

Kentucky Derby/Preakness winner Real Quiet; Breeders’

Cup winner Uncle Mo; Breeders’ Cup winner Pluck;

Champion Freshman Sire Stravinsky; Champion Left

Bank; English Champion David Junior; Canadian

Champion Leonnatus Anteas; Canadian Champion

Spring In The Air. Horses boarded at Denali include one of

the all-time greats, Hall of Fame Champion Serena’s Song.


Animal Kingdom will begin his stud career in Australia

this summer, standing at John Messara’s famed Arrowfield

Stud. In 2014, he will return to Kentucky to stand at Sheikh

Mohammed’s Darley Stud.