After clipping heels with Monzon and nearly throwing jockey John Velazquez Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom never had a chance in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. Ruler On Ice, a 24-1 long shot, was the victor.
Barry Irwin, president of Barry Irwin, president of Animal Kingdom owner Team Valor International, did not hide his bitterness over the way the race unfolded. He took to Facebook rip the horse, and his ownwers.
“Mud didn’t cost AK the Belmont,” Irwin wrote. “At the break, Isn’t He Perfect came over at the break, intimidated Mucho Macho Man, who slammed into Animal Kingdom so hard that our colt nearly went down. Our jockey lost his left iron, which was not corrected until the turn. We never had a chance. Isn’t He Perfect had no business being in this race and he screwed it up for a lot of horses today. Classics are no place for amateurs.”
Animal Kingdom had gone off as a 5-2 favorite at post time. A hoped-for duel with Preakness winner Shackleford never materialized as both horses finished out of the money.