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Anne M. Eberhardt

Mexikoma Spikes Fever, Still on Derby Trail

Team Valor colt has missed several days of training, but still could make Derby prep.

Team Valor International’s Mexikoma, a fast-closing third in a Gulfstream Park allowance race Feb. 22, has come down with a fever that forced him to miss several days of training, said Team Valor president Barry Irwin.

The son of Birdstone , who finished sixth, beaten only 3 3/4 lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I), rallied from 10th in his latest start over a speed-biased track to finish a strong third behind the front-running Constitution . He is trained by Rick Mettee.

Irwin said they still hope to give the colt a prep race next month, but with no points he will need a big effort if he is to make it into the starting field for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). Irwin said they feel Mexikoma is the kind of horse who is better suited for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

Mexikoma was bred in Florida by Hickstead Farm and purchased privately by Team Valor after breaking his maiden by 14 1/4 lengths at Delaware Park last year.