09/19/2001 11:00PM

Calder: Unstoppable Juggernaut?


MIAMI - Many of the 2-year-olds in Saturday's $100,000 Foolish Pleasure Stakes and its filly counterpart, the Brave Raj, are using the races as preps for the rich finales of the Florida Stallion Stakes series three weeks down the road. But there will be no holding back for Juggernaut, who figures to be favored in the one mile and 70 yard Foolish Pleasure.

There is no big payday on the horizon for Juggernaut, who is not eligible for the stallion series. Trainer Larry Pilotti has been pointing him to the Foolish Pleasure ever since the colt returned from New Jersey after finishing fifth behind Pure Precision in Monmouth's Grade 3 Sapling Stakes.

"Monmouth just wasn't his kind of racetrack," said Pilotti. "That's a speed-favoring track and we were about the only one in the field to make up any ground after stumbling at the start."

Pilotti says Juggernaut, who dealt Pure Precision his only loss in the Criterium Stakes here earlier this summer, has been "training like a wild horse" for the Foolish Pleasure.

"He worked a mile in 1:43 and change a couple of weeks ago and couldn't be coming into this race any better," said Pilotti who trains Juggernaut for owner Siobhan P. Ellison. "The big question is whether he'll handle the distance, although the way he's trained I think a mile and 70 yards is within his realm. And his sire [Is It True] did win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile."

Juggernaut will break from post eight in a field of 10 in the Foolish Pleasure. Among the other key contenders are The Judge Sez Who, Mountain Forum, Quick Talker, and The Case Is Closed.

The Judge Sez Who brings a four-race win streak into the Foolish Pleasure, including an easy four-length allowance victory two weeks ago. Mountain Forum and Quick Talker finished second and third respectively behind the undefeated Carey's Gold in the faster division of the split Affirmed Stakes. The Case Is Closed has won two of three starts including his last at a mile.

The Brave Raj also drew a field of 10 led by Bold World and Ms Brookski. Bold World won the middle leg of the filly division of the Florida Stallion Series, the seven-furlong Susan's Girl Stakes, in just her second career start and will use the Brave Raj as a springboard to the $400,000 My Dear Girl Stakes on Oct. 13. Eduardo Nunez replaces regular rider Calvin Borel on Saturday.

Ms. Brookski scored a smashing 11-length victory over entry-level allowance competition when stretching out around two turns for the first time earlier this month. She has trained extremely well since that outing for the Brave Raj. Redoubled Miss, a troubled 11th in the Susan's Girl, seeks to rebound but is poorly drawn in post 10. She is coupled with stablemate Buck For Par.