Val Royal Misses Training With Fever; Kilroe Start Up in the Air

Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner Val Royal has an elevated temperature and will miss some training time over the next few days. Trainer Julio Canani was uncertain Thursday if Val Royal would be able get in enough conditioning to make his anticipated 2002 debut in the March 2 Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap (gr. IIT).

"With three more works he'd be ready," said Canani. "He'll still have time for two more, so we'll have to see."

A glimpse at Val Royal's past performances a couple of large gaps between starts. After keeping a fairly busy schedule through his 3-year-old season in Europe, Val Royal capped his season with a win in the Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT). He then missed his entire 4-year-old season before emerging with a victory in last year's Kilroe. It would be another seven months until his next start, a win in the Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile Stakes (gr. IIT) as a prep for the Breeders' Cup three weeks later.

After the Breeders' Cup win, he was scratched from the Citation Handicap (gr. IIT) when the course came up soggy on race day, then missed his next target -- the Hong Kong Mile (HK-I) -- due to a quarter crack.