07/02/2008 11:00PM

Big Brown takes his time in workout

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Barbara D. Livingston
Big Brown had his first official workout Wednesday since the Belmont Stakes on June 7.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Nearly four weeks after being pulled up in the Belmont Stakes, Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown got back to work Wednesday morning.

Sort of.

In his first official workout since the Belmont on June 7, Big Brown breezed five furlongs in a pedestrian 1:06.73 over a fast Aqueduct main track. Big Brown is targeting the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on Aug. 3 as his next start.

With exercise rider Michelle Nevin in her usual seat, Big Brown went in fractions of 14.15 seconds, 27.47, 41.02, 53.68, and he galloped out six furlongs in 1:21.50, as timed by Daily Racing Form. As he did in his work prior to the Belmont, Big Brown drifted out off the rail during his gallop-out.

Nevin never really asked Big Brown for run, but she did not have a stranglehold of the colt either.

“I told Michelle I don’t want to him to go too fast, I’d rather him go slower than faster,” Dutrow said. “The horse looks like he’s fine. I can’t tell you that we got any problems. He’s good right now; he’s cooling out good drinking his water, looks like he’s happy, so we’re good.”

Nevin was tight-lipped about the move, saying simply, “Nothing special. Basic stuff.”

Big Brown worked on Wednesday after getting new shoes on his two front feet on Monday and on his two back feet on Tuesday. Ian McKinlay put on the front shoes, while Alex Leaf put on the hind ones. McKinlay treated Big Brown for a quarter crack in his left front hoof before the Belmont.

“Ian said his feet look great, Alex said his back feet look very good, so it’s all good,” Dutrow said.

After convincing wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, Big Brown was pulled up by jockey Kent Desormeaux at the quarter pole of the Belmont. Big Brown’s right hind foot got stepped on coming out of the gate, dislodging his right hind shoe. Dutrow has not used that or anything else but a bad trip in the first half-mile as an excuse for the colt’s poor performance.

If Dutrow sticks to his schedule of a workout every six days, Big Brown could have as many as five more breezes before the Haskell, with his next move likely to come on Tuesday.