03/06/2012 7:42 PM ET
Fly Lexis Fly, last year’s champion three-year-old colt in Peru, probably will pass on a projected campaign geared toward the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) and instead point toward the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 9.
Arturo Morales, the Peruvian-based trainer who coordinates the Badge of Silver colt’s campaign with U.S. trainer Neil Drysdale, said the quarantine process has slowed the colt’s schedule and would not allow Fly Lexis Fly proper time to run in prep races before the Derby. Fly Lexis Fly arrived in the U.S. in December, and was sent to Drysdale’s barn in Southern California.
“We are already thinking about the Belmont Stakes,” Morales told Peru Hípico. “The horse won in the distance—at 2,400 meters [about 1 ½ miles]—and it leaves us a bit more time, as you run in June. Then the road map is a test run before it, and then go to the third stage of the Triple Crown.”
Owned by Oscar Peña’s Stud Dona Licha, Fly Lexis Fly currently ranks 30th by graded earnings to qualify for the Kentucky Derby, with $99,481. The colt is a two-time Group 1 winner in Peru, including a victory against older foes in the 2,400-meter Derby National (Per-G1) (Peruvian Derby) to cap off his 2011 campaign. He also holds a Group 1 victory at roughly the Kentucky Derby’s distance of 1 ¼ miles.
Overall, Fly Lexis Fly has won three of five starts and earned $101,382. He was bred in Kentucky by Ken and Sarah Ramsey.
Peña said that rumors suggesting that Fly Lexis Fly is skipping the first race of the Triple Crown because of injury are unfounded.
“There is no truth to that,” he said. You saw a video a few days ago [a TVG feature on the colt] where you see the horse in good condition. We just want to take the time to plan a successful campaign in the U.S.”