Animal Instinct pounced when called upon by John Velazquez to win a tough Keeneland allowance race on Friday.
Trained by Graham Motion, the grey son of Leroidesanimaux (BRZ) stalked the pace from the inside in the early stages of the mile and an eighth turf event. After being behind a wall of horses on the turn, he bulled his way through at the top of the stretch and wore them down.
When we bought this horse at the 2013 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, we knew he had to be in Graham’s barn since Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom is also by Leroidesanimaux. Leroidesanimaux translates to “The king of the animals” in French.
“What a super exciting race,” said Motion. “This horse has run three very good races off a very long layoff and I think he wants even more ground than a mile and an eighth. Johnny gave him a great ride.”
“It’s very special for our Partners to win at Keeneland,” said WPT’s Jeff Lifson. “Animal Instinct tested our patience, but he’s showing he was well worth the wait. After his debut in September 2014, he was sidelined with an injury that prevented him from racing for over 14 months. He’s not a very big horse, but man does he have a huge stride. How can you not be excited when they win like that?”