10/22/2005 12:00AM

High Fly will miss Sprint


High Fly suffered a condylar fracture of his right leg Saturday and will not start in the $1 million Breeders Cup Sprint. High Fly's defection leaves a field of 13 for the six-furlong Sprint.

High Fly worked a half-mile from the gate in 48 seconds just before 7 a.m. on Saturday and appeared fine upon leaving the track. But Zito said several hours later that High Fly was not doing well, and after having x-rays taken confirmed the injury shortly after noon.

"He has a condylar fracture, but fortunately it's not displaced," said Zito. "It's pretty much the same thing Afleet Alex had earlier this year. He'll be sent to the New Jersey Equine Clinic, where he'll have surgery to insert two screws in his leg on Sunday. He'll eventually be shipped to Mrs. Weber's farm to recuperate."

High Fly is owned by Charlotte Weber's Live Oak Plantation.

"Naturally this comes as a big disappointment," said Zito. "This kind of thing puts you down, but we know the horse will be all right, and that's what matters most. Hopefully he'll be back again in the spring. Mrs. Weber is a great owner and she took the news well."

High Fly won 3 of his 7 starts at 3, including the Grade 1 Florida Derby and Grade 2 Fountain of Youth earlier this year at Gulfstream Park. He finished 10th in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness before ending his campaign nearly four months later with a second-place finish in the Grade 2 Jerome.

Jerry Bailey was to have ridden High Fly in the Sprint, but will now be aboard Roman Ruler for trainer Bob Baffert, according to Bailey's agent, Ron Anderson.

High Fly was one of three Breeders' Cup hopefuls Zito worked early Saturday over the sloppy track at Belmont, along with In The Gold and Sir Shackleton.