OCEANPORT, N.J. -- Kip Deville is a go for the Breeders' Cup Mile, getting in a final work for the race on Tuesday at Aqueduct after having his breeze delayed by a minor leg issue.
Trainer Rick Dutrow had planned to work Kip Deville on Monday, but postponed the work after finding minor swelling in Kip Deville's pastern, a part of the lower leg. Dutrow insisted the filling was minor and said he expected Kip Deville to be fine on Tuesday, and that apparently was the case.
"There are no issues at all with him now," said Dutrow.
Kip Deville, with Rudy Rodriguez up, was timed in 49.80 seconds for his half-mile work on Aqueduct's turf course. Dutrow said Kip Deville "worked way out into the course," which would make his workout time a fairly quick one.
"He went unbelievable," Dutrow said. "He went a half-mile like clockwork. We're very happy with the way he's been training, and the way he's going into the race."
Kip Deville went off form for two races late this past spring after posting good wins in the Grade 1 Kilroe Mile and the Grade 2 Maker's Mark Mile to start his 2007 season. Off from June to August, he came back with a third in the Oceanport on the Monmouth course, then was a good second to Shakespeare last out in the Woodbine Mile.
"After he ran at Monmouth, he started getting himself back together," Dutrow said. "He was good again at Woodbine, and he's even better now."
Panty Raid to skip Breeders' Cup
Though trainer Todd Pletcher pre-entered Panty Raid in two Breeders' Cup races, it was always unlikely that he would run her in either one. On Tuesday, when entries were taken and post positions drawn for all 11 Breeders' Cup races, Panty Raid's name, as expected, wasn't called.
Pletcher, who pre-entered Panty Raid in the Distaff and the Filly and Mare Turf, didn't like the idea of running her back 20 days after winning the Grade 1 Spinster and also said that blood work done on the filly "wasn't perfect."
"We were looking for the right spot and we were not sure what it was," Pletcher said. "Timing-wise it's back a little quick. We think she's got a big 4-year-old year in front of her, so we want to do the right thing by her."
Pletcher did not rule out running Panty Raid again this year and mentioned the Matriarch, a Grade 1 race on turf at Hollywood Park on Nov.o25, and the Falls City, a Grade 2 stakes on dirt at Churchill Downs on Nov. 22, as the most likely options.
Hollendorfer live on undercard
Though trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's main reason for being here Saturday is to run Hystericalady in the $2 million BC Distaff, he has an excellent chance to have a good day well before that race is run.
Hollendorfer will send out Bwana Bull in the $250,000 Pegasus Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles, and Double Action in the $250,000 Select Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters. The Pegasus field came up decidedly weak when you consider all the top 3-year-olds are in the BC Classic.
Bwana Bull, winless since taking the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby, heads the seven-horse field, which also includes Lone Star Derby winner Slew's Tizzy and Travers third-place finisher Helsinki.
Double Action won a restricted stakes at Del Mar before finishing second in the Gallant Bob Handicap at Philadelphia Park. Double Action drew post 6 in a 10-horse field that includes E Z Warrior, Most Distinguished, Cobalt Blue, and Buffalo Man.
Also on Saturday is the $250,000 Miss Woodford Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs. The field includes stakes winners Control System, Sindy With an S, and Laura's Last Music, who will be making her first start for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Mott has two in Epitome
Namaste's Wish and Life Is Sweet, both trained by Bill Mott, head a field of 12 entered in Friday's Epitome BC for 2-year-old fillies at one mile on turf. The Epitome, one of three $250,000 stakes on Friday's undercard, includes Grace and Power, 2 for 2 on turf, and Sales Tax, a multiple stakes winner on turf who was beaten a neck by Grace and Power in the Holly.
In the $250,000 Inside Information Stakes at 1 1/16 miles, the Jersey-bred Talkin About Love will try to continue her amazing success at Monmouth, where she has won 6 of 8 starts. She could face early pace pressure from Tessa Blue in a compact six-horse field.
Lantana Mob, who won the Tyro and Sapling stakes over this track in the summer, is the one to beat in Friday's $250,000 Favorite Trick BC for 2-year-olds at six furlongs.
Warm weather greets Europeans
The first set of overseas Breeders' Cup horses to see the Monmouth track staged something of a sweating contest on Tuesday morning. The group washout, however, was understandable, given the summer-like heat and humidity present here this morning, even before sunrise.
Nine overseas shippers arrived here Sunday - seven of whom are bound for Breeders' Cup races - and all had cleared quarantine in time to train Tuesday. Five more trans-Atlantic travelers, all trained by Aidan O'Brien, were scheduled to arrive at Newark Liberty International Airport later Tuesday. That contingent, which includes Dylan Thomas, George Washington, and Excellent Art, figures to be cleared to train on Thursday.
First onto the track Tuesday were two horses from trainer Jeremy Noseda, Strike the Deal (Juvenile Turf) and Simply Perfect (Filly and Mare Turf), with Red Rocks coming out of the BC quarantine area a few moments later. The 2006 Turf winner, Red Rocks neighed his way onto the paths leading to the track, and was still calling out when he returned some 40 minutes later. With only one Group 3 win from four 2007 starts, Red Rocks has not had the season he did last year when he upset the Turf at odds of 10-1. And while looking the part of a true 1o1/2-mile horse - long and lean - Red Rocks did not make an especially striking impression his first day out on the track, though European shippers have a habit of looking better and better as they settle in to an environment light years away from the one they inhabit back home.
Ten men share the microphone
Unlike in previous years, when races on the Friday before the Breeders' Cup were called at the host track by an assortment of announcers from racetracks across North America, the "All-Star Announcers" event instead will be held this year on Thursday because of the expansion of the Breeders' Cup to two days.
Larry Collmus, the Monmouth race caller who also plies his trade at Suffolk Downs and Gulfstream Park, is one of 10 men who will call one race apiece on the Thursday card. Those other callers are Larry Lederman (Freehold harness), Dan Loiselle (Woodbine), Sam McKee (Meadowlands), Ken Warkentin (Meadowlands), Travis Stone (Louisiana Downs), T.D. Thornton (Suffolk), Keith Jones (Philadelphia Park), Terry Spargo (Dubai), and Mark Johnson (England).
Collmus will call all of the Friday and Saturday races that are not Breeders' Cup events. Trevor Denman, who last year became the first announcer besides Tom Durkin to call a Breeders' Cup event, is back for a second year. Durkin called every Breeders' Cup for 22 years before contractual obligations to NBC precluded him from calling the races when they switched over last year to ESPN.
- additional reporting by David Grening and Marty McGee