10/06/2008 11:00PM

Big Brown works in company


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown continued preparations for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic by working six furlongs in 1:14.64 over Aqueduct’s turf course on Tuesday.

With exercise rider Michelle Nevin up, Big Brown broke off about six lengths behind stablemate Salute the Count, under Gerry Ryan. Big Brown gradually made up ground on that rival before finishing a head in front of him at the wire. Big Brown went in fractions of 12.99 seconds, 25.01, 37.25, and 50.79, meaning he got his last quarter in 23.85 seconds. Big Brown galloped out seven furlongs in 1:29.26. The course was labeled good, though Nevin said she thought it was “on the soft side.”

Salute the Count, who is being pointed to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, was credited with a time of 1:15.61.

Dutrow wouldn’t elaborate on why he gave Big Brown a target for Tuesday’s work, but said he was happy the way it turned out. Dutrow watched the work along with Michael Iavarone, the co-president of the International Equine Acquisitions Holdings Stable, the majority owner of Big Brown.

“I’m happy enough with the way things are,” Dutrow said. “He’s very good, we’re very, very happy this morning. If there was a bar that had Cakebread [wine] right now we’d be going there right now and pop open a bottle.”

Said Iavarone: “I’m ready to roll, are you kidding me? This is beautiful. We got our horse going the right way.”

Big Brown is scheduled to work twice more before shipping to California on Oct. 21, four days before the Breeders’ Cup Classic is run at Santa Anita.

Dutrow also worked Kip Deville, who went six furlongs in 1:12.97 over the turf course with Cornelio Velasquez up. Kip Deville, coming off a fifth-place finish in the Woodbine Million, is seeking a repeat victory in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile.

“Kip will show up,” Dutrow said. “We’re just hoping he didn’t like that grass course up there; it rained all night. Maybe by sending him up there with Frost Giant, that might not have been a good move; he got Kip upset on the van. I’m under the impression that he didn’t like grass course that day, which is no problem. He come out of it great, as you can see he’s doing good. He likes that grass course out there, so we’re very confident as long as he stays the way he is now.”

Kip Deville is 2 for 2 over Santa Anita’s turf course.