Kentucky Derby champion Animal Kingdom has survived a close call in the Belmont Stakes which could have ended in disaster.
The horse came very awkwardly out of the barriers and then became caught up with another runner as he tried to steady up and continue.
Their feet made contact and the horse stumbled but he managed to stay upright and the jockey held on as well.
The early set back all but ruled him out of winning the event and he finished well back out of the placings in the Grade 1 event.
Unfortunately he didn’t escape completely without damage though and the horse was showing signs of lameness the morning after the race.
Vets were called to the stable to examine him and trainer Graham Motion says they found an injury in his hind leg.
It’s the first setback for the horse which Motion says has “never had a pimple on him” before now.
The vets reports states that the injury is a “fissure, or small crack, on the tip of the cannon bone, where it joins the lower hock”.
Animal Kingdom was in tremendous form after winning the world’s most famous race and then backing it up with a second placed finish in the Preakness Stakes.
The Belmont Stakes would have been his second victory in the Triple Crown series following on from the Kentucky Derby.
The full extent of the damage won’t be known for another two weeks with the horse to rest in his paddock to set the leg settle before a follow up x-ray.
Providing it doesn’t get any worse during that period he could make a return to racing as early as this year.