03/31/2011 1:56PM

Fly Down staying in Middle East

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Andrew Watkins
Fly Down trains at Meydan ahead of this year's Dubai World Cup.

Fly Down, who finished a troubled 13th in the Dubai World Cup last Saturday, is staying in the Middle East for the time being, and it is uncertain whether he will return to the United States later this year.

Trainer Nick Zito said Prince Mitab bin Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who purchased Fly Down last year during his 3-year-old campaign, was “very upset” after the World Cup.

“For now, he’s just taking him home with him to his retreat in the mountains and nothing has been decided as to when or where he might race next,” Zito said.

Fly Down ran 1 1/4 miles in the $10 million Dubai World Cup, but for all intents and purposes his race was over after one furlong, Zito said. Fly Down was beaten 20 lengths in the World Cup, and his chances were severely compromised when he was forced to take up very sharply under jockey Julien Leparoux after being put into tight quarters along the rail by Gio Ponti entering the first turn. The incident not only helped eliminate Fly Down but cost Eclipse Award-winning jockey Ramon Dominguez a two-day riding suspension.

“He really doesn’t like racing inside horses to begin with, but after he got interfered with like that and taken up so sharply, he just shut down completely, Julien said,” Zito said.

Fly Down also steadied briefly once again while still racing near the rail in the run down the backstretch before losing contact with the field through the stretch.

Fly Down won the Grade 2 Dwyer, finished second in both the Belmont and Travers, and third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic under Zito’s guidance last year. Fly Down finished fifth in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap in his only previous start this season.