05/09/2007 11:00PM

Kip Deville works fastest of 22


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Kip Deville, the winner of three consecutive graded stakes at a mile on turf in the last five months, worked six furlongs in 1:11.40 at Hollywood Park on Thursday.

The workout, the fastest of 22 at the distance, kept the 4-year-old on course for what could be his fourth consecutive stakes win - the Grade 1 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile on turf at Hollywood Park on May 28.

Jockey Richard Migliore worked Kip Deville, who unexpectedly had a target during the workout in a horse that was working a few lengths in front of him.

While the workout was quicker than expected, it should not hinder Kip Deville's preparation, according to Chip Dutrow, an assistant trainer to his brother, Richard.

"He was a little aggressive today," Chip Dutrow said. "That's not going to send out a big alarm, that's fine. It's so hard to get everything perfect."

Kip Deville's current win streak began in the Grade 3 Sir Beaufort Stakes at Santa Anita in December. He later won the Grade 1 Kilroe Mile in March and the Grade 2 Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland last month.

"He's very push-button and professional," Chip Dutrow said.

Kip Deville will face a major test in the Shoemaker. The race is expected to draw an outstanding field, including Charmo, Chinese Dragon, El Roblar, Right Special, The Tin Man, and Willow O Wisp. After Market, the winner of the Inglewood Handicap here last month, could also start in the Shoemaker, or the Charles Whittingham Handicap at 1o1/4 miles on turf in June.

Also on the Shoemaker program is the Grade 1 Gamely Handicap for fillies and mares at 1o1/8 miles on turf.

Two leading contenders for the $300,000 Gamely worked five furlongs on Thursday. Citronnade, the winner of the Santa Ana Handicap in March for trainer Bobby Frankel, worked in 1:01.40. Charm the Giant, the winner of the Wilshire Handicap here last month for trainer Ron McAnally, was timed in 1:02.

Tyler Baze absent

Jockey Tyler Baze, who has ridden one winner from 14 mounts at this meeting, has not ridden since May 4 and is not scheduled to ride through Sunday.

Baze has told friends that he wanted to take a break, according to a person close to the jockey. Baze did not return a phone call seeking comment on Thursday morning.

His agent, Ivan Puhich, said that Baze "will be out Saturday morning" at Hollywood Park, but did not elaborate on the jockey's plans.

Baze won the Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding apprentice of 2000, but has struggled this year to gain a position among the leaders in Southern California. At the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting, Baze won 20 races from 284 mounts, a 7opercent win rate.

His last riding title came at the 2004 Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting.

Molengao to Gold Cup next?

Molengao, the winner of the Grade 2 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap last Saturday, is likely to skip the $250,000 Californian Stakes on June 2 and start in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on June 30, trainer Paulo Lobo said.

Earlier this year, Lobo cited Molengao's success after layoffs as a reason why he may go straight for the Gold Cup with the horse.

Molengao, 6, was off for eight weeks before winning the San Antonio Handicap in February and for nine weeks before the LeRoy. Between those races, he finished second in the Santa Anita Handicap on March 3.

"He was fresh when he won the San Antonio and was fresh when he won the LeRoy, but he ran well in the Santa Anita Handicap," Lobo said.

The Californian and Gold Cup fields might include Lava Man, the Big Cap winner who has not started since finishing last in the Dubai Duty Free on turf in the Middle East on March 31.

Lava Man has resumed training with Doug O'Neill and is scheduled to have a workout this weekend, O'Neill said.

Gold Cup in Tice's plans

Tice, who has won two consecutive optional claiming races at 1 1/4 miles, will be pointed for the Hollywood Gold Cup, trainer Bob Baffert said Thursday.

Owned by Mike Pegram, Tice scored an easy win on Wednesday, leading throughout and winning by 4o1/2 lengths. He was geared down in the final strides by Migliore.

"He needs distance," Baffert said. "He's been crying out for it."

Tice has won 3 of 14 starts. If he starts in the Gold Cup, it will be the stakes debut for the 5-year-old gelding, who has run first or second in his last seven starts. Baffert attributed the turnaround to gelding Tice last fall, at a time when he was running in $50,000 claiming races for maidens.