Team Valor International's Kentucky Derby (G1) star ANIMAL KINGDOM (Leroidesanimaux [Brz]) took an early morning walk around Barn 22 at Churchill Downs on Monday as he prepared to spend his last day of the spring in the shadow of the Twin Spires.
"We are going to leave early, sometime around 5:30 or 6 (a.m. EDT)," assistant trainer Dave Rock said of the journey to Fair Hill training center in Maryland. "He is doing good and eating good, as always."
Trainer Graham Motion was heading out of Louisville later Monday afternoon. Prior to leaving, he did an interview for the Kentucky Derby Museum and got choked up describing the experience of winning Kentucky Derby 137.
"Two days later, it is still surreal," said Motion, who will turn 47 on the day after the May 21 Preakness S. (G1). "I had thought about it (winning the Kentucky Derby). There is not a trainer that doesn't think about it. I just didn't think it would happen at this stage of my career."
Animal Kingdom capped off a big weekend for the Motion barn here Derby Week that comprised seven horses and the pony.
Smart Bid (Smart Strike) ran second in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1) the race prior to the Derby and earlier on the Derby Day card Aruna (Mr. Greeley) was second in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2). Summer Soiree's (War Front) 10th-place Kentucky Oaks (G1) finish was the only off-the-board placing for Motion runners that also included Deal Making (Empire Maker) finishing third in an allowance race Friday.
Animal Kingdom will have company at Pimlico on Preakness Day as Motion plans to bring last year's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) winner Shared Account (Pleasantly Perfect) to Baltimore for the Gallorette (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. The Gallorette will mark Shared Account's 2011 debut.
Turning to the other Derby contestants, runner-up NEHRO (Mineshaft) walked the shedrow at trainer Steve Asmussen's barn.
Asmussen said the Preakness chances for Nehro were "possible but not probable."
MUCHO MACHO MAN (Macho Uno), third in Derby 137, has settled into his new stall at trainer Kathy Ritvo's barn at Belmont Park. He was flown to New York on Sunday and is being considered for the Preakness.
"He's doing very well." Ritvo said. "He's been eating good and acting real good. We'll just see how it goes the next couple of days."
Mucho Macho Man walked Monday and Ritvo said that he will likely do the same thing on Tuesday.
"He will probably go back to the track on Wednesday," she said. "I want to give him a couple of days and just check and make sure that everything is good. I thought he ran a good race."
Kentucky Derby fourth SHACKLEFORD (Forestry) walked the shedrow at trainer Dale Romans' barn.
Stopping by to look in on the Kentucky Derby pacesetter was jockey Jesus Castanon, who rode in his first Kentucky Derby on Saturday.
"I had visions of a lot of roses when he opened up at the eighth-pole," Castanon said of Shackleford, who was beaten less than four lengths. "He ran real big for me."
"If he (Shackleford) is doing good, we will go (to Baltimore)," Romans said.
Romans sent out First Dude (Stephen Got Even) and Paddy O'Prado (El Prado [Ire]) to finish second and sixth, respectively, in last year's Preakness. The 38-year-old Castanon never has ridden in the Preakness.
DIALED IN (Mineshaft), who ran eighth as the favorite in Saturday's 19-horse Kentucky Derby field, walked the shedrow at trainer Nick Zito's barn.
"He's doing well," Zito said. "He's eating good and came out of the race well."
When he lines up in the Preakness, Dialed In will be running for the biggest payday in North American racing history. Robert LaPenta's colt won the Holy Bull (G3) and the Florida Derby (G1), making him eligible for MI Developments' new Preakness 5.5 bonus program.
A Preakness victory by Dialed In would be worth a total of $6.1 million -- the winner's share of the Preakness purse is $600,000. The Preakness 5.5 bonus is $5 million to the winning owner and $500,000 to the winning trainer. If Dialed In does win the Preakness and earns the bonus, the $6.1 million would eclipse the $5,884,000 Smarty Jones earned for winning the Kentucky Derby in 2004. Smarty Jones captured the $5 million Oaklawn Centennial Bonus, for winning the Rebel, the Arkansas Derby (G2) and the Kentucky Derby during Oaklawn's 100th anniversary season.
MIDNIGHT INTERLUDE (War Chant) walked the shedrow Monday morning, two days after finishing 16th in the Kentucky Derby.
Trainer Bob Baffert had indicated Sunday before leaving Louisville that a decision on Midnight Interlude's Preakness participation would be made next weekend.
SANTIVA (Giant's Causeway) is "doing well" after his sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, according to Brendan Walsh, assistant to trainer Eddie Kenneally.
"He will go back to the track in a day or two," said Walsh, who serves as Santiva's exercise rider. "There's been no decision yet (on the colt's next race). We will talk about it later in the week."
Trainer Tom Albertrani reported that BRILLIANT SPEED (Dynaformer), who finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby, will not run in the Preakness, but may make his next start in the June 11 Belmont S. (G1).