Fly So Free, last year's 2-year-old champion who finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby, will not run in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes in favor of shorter races.
"He's sound, he's beautiful, but I don't want to destroy him at long distances," trainer Scotty Schulhofer told the New York Times on Tuesday. "I just don't think he wants to go a mile and a quarter."
Fly So Free, bred in Kentucky, won the Breeder's Cup Juvenile and the Eclipse Award as the top 2-year-old last year.
"I always was a little suspicious that he couldn't go a mile and a quarter," Schulhofer said. "In the Derby, he gave everything he had, but he didn't want to run that last eighth."
The Preakness, second leg of the 3-year-old Triple Crown, is 1 3/16 miles and the Belmont 1 1 1/2 miles.