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Fever knocks Balance the Books out of Palm Beach

Sunday's Grade 3 Palm Beach was the target for Balance the Books' 2013 debut, but the promising three-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 temperature."

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 winner Charming Kitten, to prep for the Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland on April 13.

"I might have to go to Plan B and run him in the (Grade 3) 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 Grade 1 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 Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf 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."

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