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Animal Kingdom with his flowers
2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom with the Garland of Roses after leaving the winner's circle at Churchill Downs
© Cindy Pierson Dulay
Winning trainer Graham Motion said, “Once he won the Spiral, Barry and I talked about it and I just said, if we are going to go to the Derby with what I felt was a very light horse, I just couldn't see putting him through another race. We knew he was a very good horse. And we took the conservative route and that's how it worked out and I'm glad we did it and hopefully that will help us two weeks from now. We (Motion and Velazquez) talked last night and in the paddock, and we felt like getting a clean trip was the main objective. That's how it worked out. Someone said 'Are you surprised to win with a second-string horse?' I'm not sure we would categorize him as a second-string horse."
Readers Respond: When will we get another Triple Crown winner?