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A Muddy Mile Picture

The soft going was apparently not much to the liking of top turf milers in North America or Europe; both Kip Deville and Henrythenavigator finished fifth in their respective races. The main difference in the narratives is that Henrythenavigator was beaten by one of the most well-regarded milers around, Goldikova, who is now pointing toward the Breeders’ Cup Mile, while Kip Deville was bested by little-known (outside Ontario) Canadian gelding Rahy’s Attorney. (Although it is worth noting that Kip Deville was, prior to his Breeders’ Cup win last year, a somewhat obscure horse from Oklahoma).

There were no obvious excuses for Kip Deville in the Woodbine Mile; he’s run well on soft courses before (notably last year at Monmouth). Perhaps there’s new feed at the Dutrow barn, who can say? The other question coming out of the race is whether Rahy’s Attorney will use his Win and You’re In berth for the Breeders’ Cup — as he’s not nominated, it would still cost his connections a rather large sum of money to get him to the starting gate. Kentucky-bred but well-traveled mare Ventura also put in a notable effort to finish second.

It was not a great weekend for Aiden O’Brien; beyond Henrythenavigator’s defeat at Longchamp, he scratched Duke of Marmalade from the Irish Champion Stakes (easily won by rival New Approach) and Halfway to Heaven was soundly defeated by Lush Lashes (like New Approach, she is trained by Jim Bolger) in the Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes — so he’s still a few Group 1 wins away from the record.

The main feature of the Prix du Moulin was the rivalry between Goldikova and Darjina, with both classy fillies putting in fine efforts. Goldikova has some options for the Breeders’ Cup, according to her trainer, Freddie Head:

‘I knew she was well and ready to run a big race. She was against the colts for the first time and I wasn’t certain she could win but I was certain of her well-being and quality.

‘She will definitely go the Breeders’ Cup now, but I will discuss the options with the owner. She could go for the Mile or the Filly and Mare Turf – I don’t think stamina would be a problem for the latter as she proved she stayed when third in the Diane.’

There’s another reason to head to California — that way she avoids another matchup with Zarkava, who has already beaten her twice. Zarkava is still aiming for the Arc and had an encouraging workout recently. There is some thought that Henrythenavigator will aim for the Breeders’ Cup Mile (instead of the Classic, as had been suggested earlier), while Duke of Marmalade may try for the Classic. Here’s hoping Darjina heads stateside as well – it would be great to see her renew her rivalry with Goldikova in a time zone I can stay awake for (just).

3 comments to A Muddy Mile Picture

  • Keith

    A great result for Rahy’s Attorney!

    As much as I’d like to see a local horse represented in the Mile, it’s likely not worth the investment to the owners unless Ian Black thinks he can hit the board.

    What a way to end the year that would be for Mr. Black!

    Kip Deville will have a lot to prove in his next start.



  • Winston...not really

    I don’t know how much effect it had or the timing from his last race and their announcement but is there anything to the IEAH decision to stop using Winstrol and the like?

    Dutrow better hope there isn’t a Rahy’s Attorney lurking in the Monmouth stakes coming up. It’s shaping up tougher than the Woodbine Mile.

  • Superfecta

    I agree, it would be fun to see Rahy’s Attorney, but if the Euros do indeed come, it’s going to be a really tall order for him.

    I’m betting there’s a change in the feed in the Dutrow barn…

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