Perfect Drift, who won or placed in 26 stakes in 50 lifetime starts, has been retired from racing, according to Southern California trainer Richard Mandella. The 9-year-old gelding won eight stakes and earned $4,714,213 for Dr. William A. Reed’s Stonecrest Farm.
Mandella took charge of Perfect Drift last year. The son of Dynaformer had been trained before by Murray W. Johnson.
“Dr. Reed asked me if could bring Perfect Drift back off a layoff and I said sure,” Mandella said. “The only stipulation was that he wanted the horse to enjoy himself and stay sound and compete at a fairly high level. Anytime we thought it wasn’t going in the right way we would stop with him. We had some good races with him, but he never reached the level I thought he should have been at. But he’s in great shape; very healthy and very sound.”
Perfect Drift showed promise this year. He ran a solid fourth in the Shoemaker Mile Stakes (gr. IT) and was third in the Sept. 1 Windy Sands Handicap in what was his final start. But in his biggest race this year, the Hollywood Gold Cup Stakes (gr. I), he finished eighth of nine.
Throughout much of career, Perfect Drift competed in some of racing biggest events and hit the board in many of them. At Churchill Downs, he won or placed in four runnings of the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) and ran third in the 2002 Kentucky Derby (gr. I). In New York, he placed in the Breeders’ Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) and Whitney Handicap (gr. I). At Del Mar, he ran second in consecutive runnings of the Pacific Classic Stakes (gr. I).
Perfect Drift also won graded stakes at Arlington Park, Hawthorne, Hoosier, and Turfway Park. His victory in the Lane’s End Spiral Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway earned him a shot in the Kentucky Derby. According to Mandella, arrangements are being made to honor Perfect Drift at Turfway Sept. 27 on Kentucky Cup day.
Bred in Kentucky by Reed and Stonecrest Farm, Perfect Drift was produced from the stakes-winning Naskra mare Nice Gal. He will spend his retirement years at Reed’s farm in Kansas.