It won’t be easy given the competition, but the connections of Kip Deville believe the 5-year-old horse has an excellent chance of becoming the fourth repeat winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT).
Kip Deville is one of 11 horses entered in the Mile, to be run Oct. 25 at Santa Anita Park. The Mile has drawn two females—the 3-year-old filly Goldikova, winner of back-to-back group I events in France, and the 5-year-old mare Precious Kitten, a multiple grade I winner of more than $1.7 million.
Kip Deville is the 5-1 third choice in the morning line behind Goldikova (3-1) and Whatsthescript (4-1).
Kip Deville, trained by Rick Dutrow Jr. and to be ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, finished a disappointing fifth as the heavy favorite in the Sept. 7 Woodbine Mile (Can-IT) in his last start. He apparently didn’t care for the course, which was rated yielding that day.
“I’d completely draw a line through the Woodbine race,” Michael Iavarone of IEAH Stables said Oct. 22 after the draw for post positions. “He spent a lot of time (at Santa Anita). He’s a very cool, calm horse.”
Kip Deville, owned by IEAH, Pegasus Holding Group Stables, John Roberts, and Andrew and Steve Cohen, has started twice on the Santa Anita turf, and has won both times: the grade I Frank Kilroe Handicap and the grade III Sir Beaufort Stakes. The turf was firm on both occasions, and the weather forecast indicates firm conditions for the Mile.
“To me, I’d be surprised if he got beat,” Iavarone said. “He’s coming into the race the right way. I’ll be disappointed if he loses.”
|BC Mile Slide Show|
|Breeders' Cup Mile: 1984-2007|
Kip Deville, an Oklahoma-bred by Kipling out of the Encino mare Klondike Kaytie, drew post two for the Mile. He will attempt to join Miesque, Lure, and Da Hoss as a two-time winner of the Mile—and if things go well, he could be back in 2009.
“We were going to retire him, but we decided if he wins, we’ll keep him in training and go for three in a row,” Iavarone said.
The $2-million Mile attracted one runner who is winless on the turf in four starts but not without a chance. West Point Thoroughbreds’ Awesome Gem, third in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), finished a fast-closing second in the Wickerr Handicap on firm turf at Del Mar this summer, and finished second in his lone start on the Santa Anita turf.
The Mile field is extremely deep. U S Ranger , who ships from Europe, is zero-for-seven this year but has kept group I company and raced competitively; Thorn Song enters off a victory in the Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT), in which he defeated two of his Mile foes; and Daytona ranks as one of the top turf horses in California.
|Breeders' Cup Mile|
Rick Dutrow Jr.
Bill Morey Jr.