02/23/2010 1:00AM

Injured Dryfly sidelined until fall


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Dryfly is off the Arkansas Derby trail. Trainer Lynn Whiting said Tuesday the beginning of a stress fracture was diagnosed in the horse's left knee following his ninth-place finish in the Grade 3, $250,000 Southwest at Oaklawn last Saturday.

Dryfly was the race's second choice off his sharp score in last month's $100,000 Smarty Jones. He stalked at hot pace into the final turn of the Southwest, but retreated in the later stages. Whiting said the horse emerged from the race with pressure in the upper joint of his knee.

"It's foreign to him," Whiting said. "It's not something that's ever been there before. It kind of explains his race to you."

Whiting said he believes time off is the best prescription for Dryfly, whose radiographs have been sent for review to noted Kentucky-based veterinarian Larry Bramlage.

"He has what I would term an incomplete fracture," Whiting said. "It's just the start of a problem. And it's something that probably, I would say, is going to require time rather than surgery. I expect he'll be out of training for 90 to 120 days. We sent the images to Dr. Bramlage, and we're going to rely on his expertise. But I don't envision it being a surgery case. I think it's something that is just going to require time."

Dryfly has won 3 of 5 starts, among his wins a first-level allowance at Churchill Downs in November with a Beyer Figure of 89. One start later, he made his 3-year-old debut and wired the Smarty Jones field for a career-best Beyer of 91. Dryfly is a son of Jump Start and races for Charles Cella, the president of Oaklawn.

Whiting is looking for Dryfly to make a fall return to the races, perhaps in September.