05/22/2008 11:00PM

Staying the course with Kip Deville


ELMONT, N.Y. - With Big Brown having completed yet another routine gallop Friday morning in preparation for his run at the Triple Crown in the June 7 Belmont Stakes, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. opted to turn his attention to a couple of the other stars in his stable.

Dutrow made the 8 1/2-mile drive from Belmont Park to Aqueduct, where he put reigning Breeders' Cup Mile winner Kip Deville through a leisurely five-furlong workout in 1:05.86 over the Big A main track. It was Kip Deville's first breeze since he won the Grade 1 Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland on April 11.

"He's been pulling awfully hard in his gallops, maybe this will settle him down some,'' Dutrow said while standing along the rail at Aqueduct.

Though Kip Deville looks fit enough to run relatively soon, Dutrow remains steadfast in his plan to wait until the Woodbine Mile on Sept. 7 for the horse's next start. The Woodbine race would be Kip Deville's prep for the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.

"If he can win those two races it's another great year for Kip Deville,'' Dutrow said. "That's all we're kind of zeroing in on.''

Asked if it would be hard to keep Kip Deville from racing between now and September, Dutrow said, "No. Simple.''

Rudy Rodriguez was aboard Kip Deville. After he got off that horse, Rodriguez jumped on Benny the Bull, Dutrow's multiple-stakes -winning sprinter, who galloped once around Aqueduct's main track. Benny the Bull, who won the Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 29, is pointing to the Grade 2 True North Handicap on Belmont Stakes Day.

After Benny the Bull completed his gallop and was back in his stall, Dutrow went up to him, patted him on the head and said, "Benny, you look like a little tank out there, buddy.''

Dutrow looked in on the other 40-plus horses he has at Aqueduct before gathering his belongings and driving back to Belmont, where he would win with 1 of his 4 starters on the card.

Music Note impressive in return

It was only a first-level allowance race, but Music Note signaled she could be a factor in the 3-year-old filly division the remainder of the year with a powerful seven-length victory on Thursday.

Music Note, a half-sister to the Grade 1 winner Musical Chimes, ran one mile in 1:35.92 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 97. She was making her first start since she won a maiden race by 7 1/4 lengths last Nov. 1 at Aqueduct.

"We expected a good race, but I didn't think she'd win like that because I thought this was a good field and I hope it was,'' said Rick Mettee, who oversees Godolphin Racing's New York string. "Obviously, she pulled a perfect trip.''

On Friday, Mettee said that Music Note sustained a "little nick behind her right knee,'' most likely caused when a horse next to her in the gate acted up. Mettee said it wouldn't require stitches and that Music Note probably would not miss any training time.

"It filled up a little bit, but not a big deal,'' Mettee said.

Though Mettee said Music Note would be nominated to the Grade 1 Acorn on Belmont Stakes Day, more than likely she would be pointed to the Grade 1 Mother Goose on June 28, where she could face Kentucky Oaks winner Proud Spell.

Dutrow's brother takes aim at Met Mile

Tony Dutrow, Rick's older brother, will attempt to win the most prestigious race of his career when he runs a pair of live longshots in Monday's Grade 1, $600,000 Metropolitan Handicap. Dutrow will saddle Premium Wine and Lord Snowdon, the third- and fourth-place finishers from the Grade 1 Carter.

"If I would have been more of a dreamer than I've been, maybe I would have won another nice race or two,'' Tony Dutrow said. "I'm trying to change that about me. My horses - neither one of them knows how to run bad. We got to take a chance.''

Premium Wine, a New York-bred son of Prime Timber, has finished worse than third only once in his 11-race career. He earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 107 in the Carter, where he was beaten three-quarters of a length by Bustin Stones.

Lord Snowdon, beaten a head in the Grade 2 General George by Bustin Stones, has been first or second in 15 of 28 starts and won the Paumonok Handicap over the inner track in January.

This will be Premium Wine's first try at a mile while Lord Snowdon is 1 for 2 at the distance, the win coming in a starter allowance at Aqueduct 13 months ago.

"I don't think a mile hurts Premium Wine,'' Dutrow said. "I like the way Lord Snowdon closes going shorter.''

IEAH donations will aid injured officer

Big Brown will be running for more than a place in history in the June 7 Belmont Stakes.

The owners of Triple Crown hopeful Big Brown announced Friday that they would donate a portion of the purse money won by the horse in the Belmont Stakes to the family of police officer Kenneth Baribault, who sustained serious injuries in a May 18 traffic accident. If Big Brown wins, he would earn $600,000.

Baribault, a 30-year-old Nassau County officer, was struck by a drunk driver on the Long Island Expressway shortly after he stopped another suspected drunk driver. Baribault suffered massive head trauma and broken bones and had to be put into a medically induced coma. He remains in critical condition at Nassau University Medical Center.

Michael Iavarone, co-president of the IEAH Stables which owns 75 percent of Big Brown, would not disclose what percentage of the earnings would be donated to the family. Iavarone did say that his group would provide additional financial assistance in the future for Baribault's 6-year-old son, Chris.

Court Vision may experiment on turf

Court Vision, a half-brother to Lord Snowdon who finished 13th in the Kentucky Derby, was expected to rejoin trainer Bill Mott's Belmont stable on Sunday after a enjoying a brief freshening on the farm.

Mott said he may work Court Vision on the grass to see if a race such as the $600,000 Colonial Turf Cup on June 21 could be an option. Court Vision is owned in partnership by WinStar Farm and the IEAH Stables of Iavarone and Rich Schiavo.

"I'm not ruling out the Jim Dandy or some of those races, but we have time until then to run him in one of those [turf] races and see what happens,'' Mott said.