02/01/2009 12:00AM

Kip Deville goes the distance


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Kip Deville answered the 1 1/8-mile question and did so with style, leading nearly every step of the way to register a three-quarter-length victory over the 25-1 Just as Well in Sunday's Grade 1, $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.

Kip Deville, winner of the 2007 Breeders' Cup Mile and second in defense of that title last fall at Santa Anita, had never won beyond a mile coming into the nine-furlong Gulfstream Park Turf. He was also making his first start since finishing ninth in the Hong Kong Mile on Dec. 14.

Kip Deville set moderate fractions of 24.72 seconds, 47.44, and 1:11.21 while pressed from the outset of the Gulfstream Park Turf by Pick Six. Turning for home, several horses including 2-1 favorite Court Vision appeared to be closing in on the leader. But Kip Deville had plenty in reserve under jockey Cornelio Velasquez once settling into the stretch, shaking off several challenges before withstanding a final surge from Just as Well.

Court Vision, who like Kip Deville is owned in part by the IEAH Stables, raced within easy striking distance from the outset, tipped three wide to launch his bid entering the stretch, but could not sustain his rally. He finished third, a head behind Just as Well and a half-length in front of Kiss the Kid.

Red Rocks, also a former Breeders' Cup winner, raced close up to the stretch before weakening to finish eighth in a scratch-reduced field of nine older horses.

Kip Deville returned a surprising $7 to win after covering the distance in 1:45.70 over a firm course.

"Kip has natural speed and is a push-button horse," said trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. "He settled in nicely and Cornelio did a great job. Naturally I had to be concerned when the field closed in on him coming into the stretch, but Kip showed up today, and that's what we needed to win."

Dutrow said he's uncertain whether Kip Deville would make his next start in the Dubai Duty Free or return to Keeneland to defend his title in the Grade 1 Maker's Mark Mile.

"We'll see what the race in Dubai looks like, and if it's a stretch to go all the way there and run him a mile and an eighth again, we can always go back to Keeneland and try to get another Grade 1," said Dutrow. "Our main objective with him this year is to get an Eclipse Award."

Suwanee River: Lady Carlock rallies

Despite a slow early pace, Lady Carlock rallied from last place after six furlongs to register a head decision over Muskha in the $125,000 Suwannee River Stakes. Callwood Dancer, the 9-5 favorite, never seriously menaced while finishing fifth in the Grade 3 turf stakes for fillies and mares.

Lady Carlock ($29.60), a 5-year-old daughter of Chester House, is trained by Carl Nafzger for owner-breeder Bentley Smith.

Lady Carlock swung four wide from the rear of the field turning for home under jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan to overtake a game Mushka in late stretch. The runner-up forged to a short advantage in early stretch and held gamely to the end. Drop a Line finished another 1 1/4 lengths back in third.

"She was graded-stakes-placed before, but this was her first stakes win and it was graded," said Nafzger. "I was concerned that the pace might not be fast enough, but she got there."