Friday, January 30, 2009

Breeders’ Cup Winners Kip Deville & Red Rocks Clash in Gulfstream Turf

IEAH Stables and partners’ 6-year-old Kip Deville and J. Paul Reddam’s 6-year-old Irish-bred Red Rocks have each won Breeders’ Cup championship races, and the two veteran performers will meet for the first time Sunday in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf (G1) at Gulfstream Park.

Also to be run on Sunday will be the $125,000 Suwannee River Handicap (G3) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf with Three Chimneys Racing and Harlequin Ranch’s Irish-bred, Canadian champion mare Callwood Dancer and Dennis Federico’s Waquoit’s Love among the favorites in a field of 10.

Regular rider Cornelio Velasquez will be aboard Kip Deville as the likely favorite in the 1 1/8 miles turf test as he makes his first start since a disappointing trip to Hong Kong in mid-December when ninth in the Mile (G1). The Gulfstream Turf has been shortened to nine furlongs from 1 3/8 miles last year.

Kip Deville won the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Monmouth Park on ‘soft’ ground in 2007 and finished a game second behind French champion filly Goldikova on ‘firm’ ground in the Mile at Santa Anita on Oct. 25 before the trip to Hong Kong. Trained by Rick Dutrow, the son of Kipling has won 11 of 26 races for earning of more than $3.1 million.

Javier Castellano rides Red Rocks in the field of 11 older horses, but appears to be running at a distance less than his best. The son of Galileo posted a mild upset winning the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Churchill Downs over Better Talk Now and English Channel when invading from England for trainer Brian Meehan.

Red Rocks was back to finish third to English Channel in the 2007 Turf at Monmouth Park and won two of four starts last year, beginning in England and completing the season with a victory in the Man o’ War Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park after joining Reddam’s New York trainer Mark Hennig. Red Rocks makes his first start since finishing a disappointing 10th in a third try in the Turf at Santa Anita.

While IEAH Stable is the major partner in Kip Deville, they will also have 4-year-old Court Vision in the race uncoupled and possibly vying for the favorite’s role. Jockey Ramon Dominguez will be aboard Court Vision for trainer Bill Mott.

A son of Gulch, Court Vision is owned in partnership with WinStar Farm and comes into Sunday’s race after victories in the Jamaica Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park in early October and Hollywood Derby (G1) last out at Hollywood Park on Nov. 30.

Completing the field for the 24th running of the Gulfstream Turf are Jonathan Sheppard’ Just as Well, Julien Leparoux; Hardacre Farm’s Kiss the Kid, Elvis Trujillo; Phipps Stable’s Pick Six, Rene Douglas; Stronach Stable’s Sligovitz, John R. Velazquez; Silvio Crespi’s Uigur, Alan Garcia; Richard Bennett’s Nergal, Kent Desormeaux; and Hare Forest Farm’s Summer Patriot, Eibar Coa.

John Perrotta’s Phil the Power is entered to run ‘main track only’ with Coa to ride if the race were forced off turf.

Callwood Dancer Solid Contender in Suwannee River

Jockey Javier Castellano ride 5-year-old Callwood Dancer in the 62nd edition of the Suwannee River and could rule the choice after a solid runner-up performance behind Wild Promises in the My Charmer Handicap (G3) at Calder on Dec. 13, beaten only a length.

Trained by Roger Attfield, Callwood Dancer is a daughter of Danehill Dancer and was voted Sovereign Award champion turf mare in Canada last year, winning the Nassau Stakes (G2) and finishing second in the Canadian Stakes (G2) and E.P. Taylor Stakes (G1), all at Woodbine, before shipping to South Florida for the winter season.

Rene Douglas rides Waquoit’s Love for trainer Tim Hills after the 6-year-old daughter of Not For Love won the Marshua’s River Stakes over the course on Jan. 11, posting her first career stakes victory after several close calls last year, including a neck loss when second in the Noble Damsel Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park in October.

Helen Groves’ 6-year-old homebred mare Tejida also comes into the Suwannee River after an impressive win over the course at the meet. Jockey Jose Lezcano rides the daughter of Rahy for trainer Michael Matz. Tejida rallied from last of 12 to win a tough allowance on Jan. 9 and finished second in both of her starts here last year.

Completing the field for the Suwannee River are Augustin Stable’s Long Approach, Julien Leparoux; Bentley Smith’s Lady Carlock, Jermaine Bridgmohan; J. Mack Robinson’s Drop a Line, Ramon Dominguez; Brian Rose’s Ballymore Lady, Edgar Prado; Anstu Stable’s The Niagara Queen, John R., Velazquez; Brushwood Stable’s Mushka, Kent Desormeaux; and Farnsworth Stables’ Flibberjibit, Eddie Castro.

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