Sunday’s $150,000 Palm Beach (G3) was the target for Balance the Books
’ 2013 debut, but the promising 3-year-old turf runner will stay in
the barn because of lost training time 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 during training hours at
Palm Meadows Training Center Wednesday morning “He’s OK. I just went
back to the track with him, but he did lose a couple days because of the
Brown had originally planned to prep Balance the Books in the Palm
Beach, a 1 1/8-mile turf stakes that attracted Kitten’s Joy Stakes
winner Charming Kitten, to prep for the Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland on
“I might have to go to Plan B and run him in the Spiral at Turfway
(March 23) 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 will certainly experience
pressure to go for it in the Kentucky Derby on May 4.
“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,” he said.
Balance the Books finished a troubled third in the Breeders’ Cup
Juvenile Turf (G1) behind stablemate 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.”
Brown will be represented in Thursday’s featured ninth race, a
first-level optional claiming turf race at five furlongs, by Devil’s
Cave. The 3-year-old daughter of Put It Back broke her maiden at
Gulfstream Park on Dec. 12 in her second lifetime start and first start
on turf. She came back to finish second on Jan. 11.
“She looks like a one-turn grass horse. She’s so lightly raced, I
think she can improve throughout the year,” Brown said. “I’m not sure at
what level she’ll be. We’ll give her the opportunity to develop.”
John Velazquez, who was aboard for Devil’s Cave’s three starts, has the return mount aboard the Florida-bred filly.