Trained by Richard Dutrow, Jr., the Oklahoma-bred five-year-old, the top-ranked turf miler on the continent, is unbeaten in his last three outings, including the Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland in April and the Poker Handicap at Belmont Park in July.
"He's just been in a zone of his own," said Dutrow. "He's incredible. He's doing unbelievable. I'm just really excited about being able to watch him run again. He certainly appears to be (a better horse than last year). He's just so much more confident in himself. Just feels very good about himself, very proud of himself. He's matured into that type of a horse. He's doing great and right on schedule."
Kip Deville, who has now amassed over $2.6 million in his career, will be ridden by Cornelio Velasquez. A win in the Woodbine Mile guarantees 'Kip' a spot in the Breeders' Cup Mile, October 25 at Santa Anita, as one of the 'Win and You're In' races.
MULMUR TAKES RUN AT WOODBINE FOR SAM-SON
Sam-Son Farm looks to Mulmur in their quest for a third win in the prestigious Grade 1, $1-million Woodbine Mile, Sunday afternoon at the Toronto oval.
Sam-Son and trainer Mark Frostad are no strangers to success in the Woodbine Mile, having produced two winners in the world-class event. In 1999, Quiet Resolve showed great resolve in taking the race. After finishing a head back of Hawksley Hill, the son of Affirmed was elevated to first, after the former was disqualified.
In 2004, Soaring Free, who finished second to Touch of the Blues a year earlier in the Mile, fended off a late-rushing Perfect Soul to win. Soaring Free went on to cop Sovereign Award honours as Canada's Horse of the Year in that very same season.
Now, Mulmur, a five-year-old son of Smart Strike, like Soaring Free, takes aim at the top prize in the turf classic.
"We always thought he had the talent to be a good horse," noted Frostad. "And we always thought he would be better on turf. He's certainly run well on the Polytrack, but he's come into his own on the grass."
JUST RUSHING WHEELS BACK INTO MILE
Seven-year-old Just Rushing will take a shot at Sunday's $1 million Woodbine Mile on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
The 13-time winner, who will be ridden by Jim McAleney, won last month's Grade 2 Play the King Stakes in very quick time.
The seven-furlong event was the best performance of the Sid Attard trainee's abbreviated 2008 campaign and maybe even his life, considering he earned a personal best Beyer Speed Figure of 101.
The gelding's challenge is repeating the effort on two weeks rest.
"I still say it's too close. But what are you going to do? The horse is doing okay, so what the heck?" Attard said. "Can lightning strike twice? I don't know."
Tucci Stables claimed the runner for $40,000 in 2005.
WILSON NETS DRAWMASTER DUTIES FOR MILE
Ron Wilson, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, has been named the drawmaster for the Woodbine Mile, which will take place this Thursday, September 4, at Woodbine's east-end VIP tent.
He will assist in determining the post positions and speak briefly of his participation in the sport at the noon media conference.
Wilson, 53, has spent the last two decades behind the bench, compiling a record of 518 wins-446 losses-127 ties over his 1,091 games with the San Jose Sharks, Washington Capitals and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
He enjoyed a career season in 1997-98 as head coach of the U.S. National Team at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, and also led the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Final against the Detroit Red Wings. In 1996, he coached the U.S. to victory at the inaugural World Cup of Hockey.
The 12th running of the Woodbine Mile is set for Sunday.