It won't be easy given the competition, but the connections of Kip Deville believe the 5-year-old horse has an excellent chance to become the fourth repeat winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT).
Zayat Stables' Thorn Song broke to an early lead and never relinquished it, wiring a full field in the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT) Oct. 4 on the Keeneland turf. The victory earned the 5-year-old son of Unbridled's Song an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Mile later this month at Santa Anita.
Shadwell Stable's homebred Shakis, well-beaten in three starts this season, roared from the back of the pack and nailed War Monger in the final strides to take the $200,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT) for the second consecutive year on the Saratoga grass Aug. 23.
Grade I winners Artiste Royal and Einstein are among the favorites for the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT), the race that precedes the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) as part of Churchill Downs' packed stakes schedule May 3.
Kip Deville had not raced since winning the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) last October. The question coming into the $300,000 Maker's Mark Mile (gr. IT) April 11 was obvious: How would the 5-year-old respond to the long layoff?
Claiming king Mike Mitchell performed his magic once again at Santa Anita March 1, winning the $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap (gr. IT) with Ever a Friend.
Artiste Royal, winner of Oak Tree's Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. IT) on the Santa Anita lawn last fall, kicks off his 2008 campaign for trainer Neil Drysdale in the $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap (gr. IT) March 1.
Peter Vegso homebred War Monger came from well off the pace, moved into contention around the final turn, and caught pacesetter Lucky J.H. in mid-stretch en route to a 1 1/4-length victory in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf Jan. 26 at Gulfstream Park.
Presious Passion and Icy Atlantic are two of the top contenders in the Jan. 26 event at Gulfstream Park.
Peter Vegso's War Monger was in last place after a half-mile, but made a decisive move along the far turn and rallied to take the $100,000 Rutgers University Stakes by a length-and-a-half on the Monmouth Park turf Oct. 24.
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