Sunday’s Grade III Palm Beach Stakes was the target for the 2013 debut of Balance the Books, but he'll miss it due to a recent fever.
“I was going to run Balance the Books, but he got a temperature about a week ago. It’s really disappointing, because he’s the one I wanted to run there,” trainer Chad Brown said. “He’s OK. I just went back to the track with him, but he did lose a couple days because of the temperature.”
Brown won't start Noble Tune in the Palm Beach, either, and is looking for a shorter race in which to enter that colt for his 2013 debut.
Brown had originally planned to go with Balance the Books from the Palm Beach to the Grade I Blue Grass at Keeneland on April 13.
“I might have to go to Plan B and run him in the Spiral at Turfway and then wheel him back in the Blue Grass,” Brown said. “It wasn’t my ideal plan, but you have to make adjustments with horses.”
Should the son of Lemon Drop Kid perform well over the synthetic tracks at Turfway and Keeneland, Brown would probably feel pressure to go on to the Kentucky Derby. But would he?
“He’s always struck me as a grass horse, or a synthetic horse, but there might come a day where we might try him on the dirt,” Brown said, without closing the door on the idea.
Balance the Books finished a troubled third in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf behind stable mate Noble Tune, who was also nominated to the Palm Beach.
“He’s never been a mile and an eighth before; I’m certainly not going to do it off a layoff, not with that particular horse. Balance the Books is better equipped to do run a mile and an eighth, even off a layoff. He’s a more long-winded horse,” Brown said. “With Noble Tune, his first race back, I want to start him off at a slightly shorter distance if I can. I’m not positive what race that’s going to be yet.”
Edited Gulfstream Park release