12/11/2009 12:00AM

Kip Deville faces a fight to survive

Barbara D. Livingston
Kip Deville last raced Aug. 2 at Saratoga in the Fourstardave.

Kip Deville, the 2007 Breeders' Cup Mile winner, is suffering from laminitis in both front feet and has been given a 20 percent chance to survive by his doctors, according to his owners.

"It's going to be very, very, very difficult to beat; he's got a pretty significant case," according to Michael Iavarone, co-president of IEAH Stables, which heads a large group that owns Kip Deville. "One foot is worse than the other. The left side seems to be much worse, it's rotated fully. They cut his tendons to release some of the pressure. We're going to continue to do what we can within reason and humanity and hope he pulls through it. They told us he's 20-80 to survive."

Kip Deville has been at the Rood and Riddle Equine Clinic in Lexington, Ky., since September and has had to undergo two colic surgeries. But his condition has taken a turn for the worse in the last 10 days to two weeks, according to Mike Sherack, vice president of investor relations for IEAH.

"The last 10 days to 14 days Kip has been struggling with laminitis with both front feet and has been more uncomfortable during this time than what he had been previously," Sherack said, reading an e-mail from Dr. Scott Hopper from the Rood and Riddle Clinic. "The last few days he's spending significantly more time down. We will continue to work with him to get through this bout of laminitis."

Iavarone said that doctors have told him that Kip Deville needs to have some growth in his foot by the next time he is due to be shod - "which is four weeks," Iavarone said - or otherwise, doctors will be concerned about secondary infections developing.

"At this point we have to brace ourselves for the worst and hope for the best," Iavarone said.

Kip Deville, a 6-year-old Oklahoma bred, won 12 of 30 starts and earned $3,325,489. He was retired in the fall following a year in which he won 1 of 4 starts - that being the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap. He last raced on Aug. 2 at Saratoga, finishing eighth of nine in the Fourstardave.