Under regular jockey Cornelio Velasquez, the 6-year-old son of Kipling clicked off fractions of :26 4/5 and :51 3/5 before finishing his breeze in front of the racing crowd in 1:16 4/5.
Trained by Rick Dutrow, Kip Deville will be making his first start of 2009 after a disappointing trip to the Far East and a ninth-place finish in the Hong Kong Vase (G1) on Dec. 14. He finished a game second to Goldikova in the Breeders’ Cup Mile on Oct. 25 at Santa Anita in his previous start.
The Gulfstream Park Turf was moved to the Feb. 1 date and shortened to 1 1/8 miles to be part of a huge stakes weekend in South Florida. It follows important 3-year-old stakes on Friday with the Hutcheson (G2) and Forward Gal (G2).
The track’s older-horse showcase comes that Saturday with the $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) and the $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes – the first two-turn test here for top 3-year-old prospects. Fillies and mares on the turf share the bill on Sunday with the Suwannee River (G3).