04/24/2008 12:00AM

Dutrow fired up after workout


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Rick Dutrow has said all along he would listen to what Big Brown tells him. After his penultimate work for the May 3 Kentucky Derby on Thursday, Big Brown must have told Dutrow to go jump out of a plane.

Dutrow said he was so amped up after watching Big Brown work that "I've got to get this anxiety out of me."

How so?

"I think I'll jump out of a plane today," he said via telephone from Florida. "I'm going tandem jumping."

That might be a leap of faith, but as far as Big Brown goes, Dutrow believes he is coming to the Derby with the horse to beat.

"We're good. We're very good," Dutrow said. I'm gonna go all in again, just like the Florida Derby. I know he's the best horse, so I might as well bet."

Big Brown, unbeaten in three starts, is considered the current favorite for the Derby, a position he has occupied since his runaway victory in the Florida Derby four weeks ago. He has trained before, and since, at the Palm Meadows training center in Florida, where on Thursday he worked five furlongs in 58.60 seconds under exercise rider Michelle Nevin.

"He went like a freak," Dutrow said. "No pressure at all. He might have gone a little fast, but Michelle was just sitting on him. I can't imagine him breezing any better."

Big Brown is scheduled to fly to Kentucky on Monday, then have a short workout at Churchill Downs just days before the Derby.

"He'll breeze three-eighths on Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the weather," Dutrow said. "If the weather's going to be good both days, I'd rather work on Thursday.

"He looks gorgeous. He is so laid back right now, I could not even imagine it."

Other than his jump on Thursday afternoon, Dutrow is not going to let Big Brown out of his sight. Dutrow, who at age 48 will be running his first horse in the Derby, said he will fly with Big Brown.

"Tex Sutton," Dutrow said, referring to the equine transport company, "has guaranteed me that he will walk out of his stall here at 1 p.m. and be in his stall at Churchill Downs in 3 1/2 or four hours.

"I'm going to fly with the horse. There's a stall for me," he said, laughing, "and a stall for the horse."

Dutrow said he is so confident in Big Brown that he feels no pressure. He said his anxiousness is from anticipation, not nervousness.

"The only pressure I had with him was when I couldn't train him because of his feet," Dutrow said, referring to the pair of quarter cracks Big Brown had last fall and then earlier this year. "He's doing fine now. We just got lucky. I don't want any changes."

Here at Churchill Downs, the only Derby runner to work on Thursday was Cool Coal Man, who won the Fountain of Youth Stakes before a dull try in the Blue Grass Stakes. Cool Coal Man, working in company, covered a half-mile in 47.51 seconds for trainer Nick Zito.