09/25/2007 11:00PM

Big Brown ailing, out of Pilgrim

EmailSaturday's $75,000 Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont Park had been expected to attract Big Brown, whose 11-length maiden victory at Saratoga Sept. 3 suggested he could become a candidate for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.

Instead, his stakes opportunities will have to wait. Trainer Rick Dutrow said Wednesday that Big Brown, a 2-year-old Boundary colt, has some undisclosed physical issues that will keep him out of the Pilgrim.

Michael Sherack, vice president of investor relations for International Equine Acquisitions Holdings Inc., which bought 75 percent interest in the colt from Paul Pompa earlier this month, said the Oct. 7 Bourbon County Stakes at Keeneland is being considered as an alternative race.

Dutrow was far less committal.

"I'm looking at tomorrow, not at the condition book," he said.

With the absence of Big Brown, Pilgrim favoritism may go to The Leopard, a son of Storm Cat who was a $2.5 million 2-year-old purchase. Trained by Todd Pletcher, he was fifth in the Grade 2 Futurity Sept. 15. He breezed a half-mile in 50.55 seconds around the cones over a firm Belmont Turf course Sept. 23 in preparation for his first start on grass.

The Pilgrim is not the only stakes race for 2-year-olds this week. Entries were drawn Wednesday for Friday's $55,000 World Appeal Stakes at the Meadowlands, a race that attracted nine runners, led by Carry the Day and Rebounded.

Although not on turf, Saturday's Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Juvenile at Turfway could generate a starter for the Juvenile Turf's inaugural running at Monmouth Oct. 26. It is contested over Polytrack, which many horsemen consider to be a surface that is between turf and dirt.

In action from last weekend, Cherokee Triangle stamped himself a Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf contender with a 10 3/4-length score in the $200,000 Sunday Silence Stakes at Louisiana Downs. His victory further legitimized the form of Old Man Buck, who beat him in the $200,000 Cradle Stakes at River Downs Sept. 3.

Prussian, the divisional leader after winning the Sept. 16 Summer Stakes at Woodbine, came out of his race well and remains on target for the Juvenile Turf, trainer Bill Mott said Wednesday.