Animal Kingdom Pulls Surprise

David Stephenson/Lexington Herald-Leader

To many outside his inner circle, Animal Kingdom wasn't the horse who was supposed to take his connections into the stratosphere they reached during the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.

If trainer Graham Motion was going to snag his first career Derby triumph, many figured Wood Memorial winner Toby's Corner was the horse to do it.

If Team Valor chief executive Barry Irwin and his partners were going to take a blanket of roses home, it wasn't supposed to be with a synthetic and turf specialist who had never run on dirt.

And if jockey John Velazquez was ever going to add a win in the first leg of the Triple Crown to a résumé that features practically every other major accolade in the sport, champion Uncle Mo was supposed to be the colt to do the honors.

In a season for 3-year-olds that has already been unpredictable,...

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