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Breeders Cup Mile
Breeders Cup Mile
Breeders' Cup Mile Field and Analysis
by T.O. Whenham
In many years the Breeders' Cup Mile is the least interesting race to most North American bettors. It's a distance and a surface that we aren't as familiar with or fond of as others, and many of the top runners are Europeans that we don't know and whose past performances we can't read. This year, though, the race is different. The field is interesting and full of Americans, and the race provides one of the most intriguing and challenging puzzles on the card. With no stand-out favorites, and eight or 10 horses that could conceivably win, the post position draw will be important in this field. The weather also has the potential to be more of a factor in this race than any other. If it's raining like the forecast says it could be then the soft turf will favor some runners and work against others.
Though the American horses are reasonably strong, and they have a three-race winning streak going, the likely favorite at post time is a European - Excellent Art. He's a three-year-old who has a win in a graded stakes at Ascot, but his claim to fame is that he has finished second to Ramonti, Europe's top miler, twice in a row. If I have a concern with this horse it's his jockey, Jamie Spencer. Some jockeys can always seem to avoid trouble, and others, like Spencer, are always in the middle of it. There's also a pretty good chance that the value will be bet out of Excellent Art because of the European support he'll have.
If you think it's time for another European Mile winner but don't like Excellent Art, then Jeremy will be the horse for you. He's also closely followed Ramonti to the finish line, and he was close to Excellent Art in their shared race, too. He will also be carrying a different jockey than his last few races. The charismatic Frankie Dettori, who was aboard for Jeremy's last win back in April, has the mount.
The lowest priced American will probably be Nobiz Like Shobiz. Even passive racing fans will probably recognize him from this year's Kentucky Derby. He was disappointing there, and he lost to Any Given Saturday in the Dwyer on dirt after that, but became a new horse with the move to the turf. He's a perfect 3-for-3 on the grass, and his wins have been increasingly impressive. The horse is really growing into himself, but there are concerns - he's never run a mile on turf, he's facing older horses for the first time, and he was surprisingly entered in this race after originally being pointed for a race a month from now. He certainly has the potential to be world class in this discipline, but it remains to be seen if his time is now.
The four-year-old Kip Deville is another interesting American. He hasn't won since stringing together three in a row at the start of the year, but he was a strong second in the Woodbine Mile to top miler Shakespeare, and that horse is out because of an injury. He's won six times in nine races at a mile, making him unquestionably the most experienced and successful runner at the distance. He ran in August at Monmouth and was disappointingly flat, but if his Woodbine Mile performance signals a return to his form of last year then he will be dangerous.
If Trippi's Storm were to win the Mile then the folks at Disney would likely take notice. In January the four-year-old was running in, and losing, a $32,000 maiden claimer in Florida. Ten months later, he comes into the Breeders' Cup off an impressive win in the Kelso at Belmont. He recorded a career-high Beyer in that race, and is going to be competitive here. After Market was second in that Kelso, and deserves almost as much consideration as Trippi's Storm. The Kelso was his first try at a turf mile. He was way out of contention before closing very hard to come up just short. It remains to be seen if the distance is long enough for him, or if the tight turns and short stretch at Monmouth will suit his style.
Before we look at the other contender, there are a few pretenders we can deal with quickly. Cosmonaut has wins in three graded stakes in his career, but never higher than a grade three. He's good, but it seems a stretch to believe that he's good enough. My Typhon is a solid mare, but the Mile is too short for her strengths and she has been weak in recent outings. Remarkable News, strangely enough a Venezuelan bred, hasn't won a grade one in three tries, and has never run on anything but firm turf, so this may not be his spot. He's not BC nominated, so the fact that his connections have chosen to buy his way in could signify he is more ready than he appears. Silent Name has the advantage of experience in this race, and he led for part of the race last year, but he has been off since July and hasn't won around two turns in a year and a half. Host would be a great choice if it were 2005, but he has only won one stakes race since then, and it wasn't graded. He seems out of place. Rabatash last ran in April, was 10th, and has never run a mile.
That leaves us with one runner - Purim. The veteran had a huge win last time out in the Shadwell at Keeneland to earn his spot in this race. His 104 Beyer in that race was solid. The problem is that he has regressed badly in his next race every time he has posted a number that high or close to it. Given that, he'll likely be bet down lower than he probably should be. He also struggles on off tracks, so the weather will be a factor for him.
Re: Breeders Cup Mile
Kip Deville powers to victory in Breeders' Cup Mile
October 27th, 2007
Oceanport, NJ (Sports Network) - Stalking the pace through most of the race, Kip Deville took the lead in mid-stretch and went on to win the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile on the Monmouth Park turf course. The win was the second of the day for jockey Cornelio Velasquez.
Kip Deville was sent off at odds of 8-1 in the 13 horse field. He left the starting gate in good order and settled in behind the leader Cosmonaut along the rail.
On the turn for home Cosmonaut still had the lead with Remarkable News second and Kip Deville third, looking for an opening. At the top of the stretch Kip Deville found room to the outside of the leader as the other contenders began to tire. Unable to sustain a move was Nobiz Like Shobiz -- the Wood Memorial winner.
Kip Deville posted a 1 1/4 length win over 2-1 favorite Excellent Art, followed by Cosmonaut and Nobiz Like Shobiz. The time for the mile was 1:39 3/5 on the soft grass course.
After Market, 7-2 in the morning-line, was scratched on Friday.
Trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., Kip Deville was a $300,000 supplemental entry into the race. He collects more than $1 million to increase his lifetime bankroll to better than $2 million.
Kip Deville has won nine of 21 career starts and was coming off a second place finish in the Woodbine Mile to Shakespeare. Shakespeare, now retired with an injury, may have been the favored in this race.
Kip Deville returned $18.40, $7.20 and $5.20. Excellent Art paid $4.20 and $3.00, and Cosmonaut paid $6.60 to show.