08/28/2008 11:00PM

Kip Deville scaring them off


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The fields for next Sunday's Woodbine Mile, Northern Dancer, and Canadian are beginning to take shape.

The looming presence of Kip Deville, the top turf miler in North America, seems to have dampened the enthusiasm of other prospective shippers for the Woodbine Mile.

Trained by Richard Dutrow, Kip Deville finished second in last year's Grade 1, $1 million Woodbine Mile and will be odds-on to avenge that defeat.

Ventura, a 4-year-old filly trained by Bobby Frankel, is one of the best of her sex at a mile on turf and will look to become the first female Woodbine Mile winner.

Dark Islander, a 5-year-old horse trained by Neil Drysdale, was the only other potential invader as of Friday morning.

Locally based Just Rushing, Wollemi Pine, Mulmur, and Rahy's Attorney are Woodbine Mile-bound, with Ice Bear and Palladio also possibilities.

The Woodbine Mile is a Win and You're In Breeders' Cup Challenge race, with the winner assured of a berth in the BC Mile at Santa Anita in October.

Dutrow, Frankel target Northern Dancer

Dutrow and Frankel also plan to send runners for the $750,000 Northern Dancer, a 1 1/2-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and upward that was granted Grade 1 status for the first time this year.

Frost Giant, winner of the Grade 1 Suburban on the dirt at Belmont last time out, would represent Dutrow, with Champ Elysees, coming off a sixth-place finish in the Grade 1 United Nations at Monmouth, being Frankel's candidate.

Quijano, a Group 1 winner in Germany and Italy, is scheduled to arrive from Germany on Wednesday.

Trained by Peter Schiergen, Quijano was a strong third in the Grade 1, $2 million Canadian International at 1 1/2 miles on turf here last fall.

The Northern Dancer was repositioned on the schedule in order to serve as the major local prep for this year's Canadian International, which will be run on Oct. 4.

Better Talk Now, still going strong at age 9 and coming off a second-place finish in Saratoga's Grade 1 Sword Dancer, is pointing for the Canadian International and is a possibility for the Northern Dancer.

Cloudy's Knight, winner of last year's Canadian International but a major disappointment in three 2008 starts, is scheduled to be here for the Northern Dancer and will have a new rider in James Graham.

Next Sunday's other turf feature, the Grade 2 Canadian for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles, is the major local prep for the Grade 1, $1 million E.P. Taylor at 1 1/4 miles on turf on Oct. 4.

Forever Together, winner of Saratoga's Grade 1 Diana last time out, and J'ray, coming off a win in Monmouth's Grade 3 Matchmaker, are leading U.S. candidates.

Grass a total unknown for Delaforce

While Not Bourbon will be in the spotlight here Sunday, he and his stablemate Sand Cove will not be the only runners making their turf debuts in the one-mile Vice Regent for Ontario-sired 3-year-old geldings.

Delaforce, owned by Ken Parsley and Rick Pettifer and trained by Nick Gonzalez, goes those two one better as he has neither raced nor worked on grass.

"Either they like turf or they don't," said Martha Gonzalez, wife and assistant to Nick, who is in charge of the stable's division here at Woodbine.

"I don't like the course, with its tight turns," she said of the training track. "It's not comparable to the main turf course."

Delaforce, winner of the restricted Kingarvie at 1 1/16 miles here last December, has seen action four times this season.

After winning a restricted third-level allowance at seven furlongs in his third outing on June 28, Delaforce ran third at the same distance in the Deputy Minister, a stakes for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds on July 16 in which his stablemate Stuck in Traffic ended second.

"He's had a little freshening, and he's training very well right now," said Gonzalez. "There's no question he'll like the one-turn mile. He has easy action; he's very effortless whatever he does."

Stuck in Traffic has small setback

Stuck in Traffic, who was nominated to the Vice Regent but had been under consideration for the six-furlong $100,000 Tom Ridge Labor Day Stakes at Presque Isle Downs, will be staying in his stall here Monday afternoon.

"He had a minor setback," said Gonzalez. "He had an infection, and missed four days of training.

"We're up in the air over what he's doing. With these kinds of horses, your plans change real quick."

Stuck in Traffic, who last saw action when second in the Deputy Minister, worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 under regular rider David Clark here Thursday morning.

Owned by M.A.D. Racing Stable and Martha Gonzalez, Stuck in Traffic has earned $220,000 with two wins and two seconds, all in stakes, from four starts this season.

Fatal Bullet headed to Presque Isle

Fatal Bullet, an impressive winner over older rivals in the 6 1/2-furlong Bold Venture here July 20, will be heading to Presque Isle for the Tom Ridge.

Owned by Danny Dion's Bear Stable and trained by Reade Baker, Fatal Bullet is perfect in four starts here this year, with his only loss coming in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens on the dirt at Belmont.

Eurico Rosa Da Silva, who rode Fatal Bullet for the first time in the Bold Venture, has the call for the Tom Ridge.

First, however, Da Silva will be riding in three of the six $125,000 yearling stakes here on Monday's card.

Da Silva will be aboard Cataleena in the seven-furlong Muskoka for 2-year-old fillies, Force of Gravity in the seven-furlong Simcoe for 2-year-old colts and geldings, and You Will Love Me in the 1 1/16-mile Algoma for fillies and mares.

Following the Algoma, scheduled for 4:05 p.m., Da Silva will hop a chartered plane to Erie, Pa., for the Tom Ridge, slated for 8 p.m.

* Jockey Tyler Pizarro will sit out the Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday cards after dropping his appeal of an earlier ruling. Steward Gunnar Lindberg said Monday's card is not part of the suspension because Pizarro's original days were for a Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday.