Tough Customers for Kip Deville in Shoemaker

(from Hollywood Park notes)
Kip Deville, one of the nation’s top-ranked milers, aims for his fourth straight victory as he returns to Southern California in Monday’s $300,000 Shoemaker Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT) on the Lakeside Turf Course at Hollywood Park.

The 4-year-old colt has won three straight races at the Shoemaker distance, including the Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) at Santa Anita in March and the Maker’s Mark Mile (gr. IIT) at Keeneland in April.

“He really likes that mile distance,” said Chip Dutrow, assistant and brother to trainer Richard Dutrow Jr., who will remain in the East to run Silver Wagon in Monday’s Metropolitan Mile Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park.

Kip Deville, who flourished during the winter while training on Hollywood Park’s Cushion Track, has won eight of 16 starts while banking $803,642. Richard Migliore will ride in the Shoemaker.

In his first ride aboard Kip Deville, Migliore won the Sir Beaufort Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita on Dec. 26. He later rode the gray/roan Oklahoma-bred colt to victory in the Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita on March 3.

“Kip Deville has been a strong influence on my career out here,” said Migliore Friday. “He gave me my first win at Santa Anita, my first stakes win in California, and my first grade I in California.”

Although he has earned most his money at longer distances, The Tin Man will garner tremendous attention Monday as the 9-year-old Affirmed gelding aims to match the legendary John Henry and Desert Native as the track’s oldest stakes winners in his first start of 2007.

The Tin Man, conditioned by trainer Richard Mandella, enjoyed a tremendous year in 2006, when he was undefeated in four U.S. starts — the San Marcos (gr. IIT), the American Handicap (gr. IIT), the Arlington Million (gr. IT) and the Clement L. Hirsch (gr. IT).

He banked $1,990,000 to increase his lifetime earnings to $3,126,860 and takes a three-race winning streak into the Shoemaker. His lone setback last year came when he finished second in the Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I).

Becrux won the 2006 Woodbine Mile (Can-I), while Chinese Dragon, Vegas Lord and Charmo ran one-two-three respectively in the San Francisco Mile (gr. IIT). Other contenders are Fast and Furious, who finished third in the 2005 Shoemaker Mile; Get Funky, who won the 2006 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT); and Willow O Wisp, who finished fourth in the race a year ago. Brazilian-bred Right Special won his U.S. debut at Hollywood Park April 26.

$300,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile Stakes (gr. IT, Race 7, 4:20 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 Mile (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey
1. Right Special (BRZ), Brice Blanc
2. Charmo (FR), Martin A. Pedroza
3. Kip Deville (OK), Richard Migliore
4. Becrux (ITY), David R. Flores
5. Willow O Wisp (FL), Joseph Talamo
6. The Tin Man (KY), Victor Espinoza
7. Chinese Dragon (KY), Mike E. Smith
8. Vega's Lord (GER), Michael C. Baze
9. Get Funky (FL), Jose Valdivia, Jr.
10. Fast and Furious (FR), Alex O. Solis
Each assigned 124 pounds.