Zoldan horse qualifies for Kentucky Derby
Animal Kingdom, a horse owned by a group that includes Youngstown businessman Bruce Zoldan, has qualified for the Kentucky Derby.
Animal Kingdom roared to the front at the turn then held off Decisive Moment to win the $500,000 Spiral Stakes on Saturday at Turfway Park.
The 3-year-old colt, ridden by Alan Garcia and trained by Graham Motion, thrust himself into the Kentucky Derby picture by easily turning away a late bid from Decisive Moment to win by 23/4 lengths.
Garcia lagged behind the field early but responded when Garcia asked him to go when they reached the turn. He took the lead at the top of the stretch then gamely put away Decisive Moment and the rest of the 12-horse field.
“I stayed on the rail because I had a feeling everybody would try to go wide,’’ Garcia said. “I figured that if he was good enough, he would make a move and he did.’’
Animal Kingdom paid $8, $4.60 and $4 while covering the 1 1-8-mile race over synthetic surface in 1:52.32. Decisive Moment, piloted by Kerwin Clark, paid $6.60 and $4.60. Twinspired finished third and paid $6.
The $285,000 winner’s purse gives Animal Kingdom enough graded stakes earnings to run the Derby on May 7.