Perfect Drift, winner of last year's Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II), will not be back to defend his title this Saturday at Turfway Park according to trainer Murray Johnson. Johnson made the announcement Monday morning after Perfect Drift finished a five-furlong work in 1:03 3/5 at Trackside in Louisville. Joe Deegan was aboard for the work.
"He went nice and relaxed," Johnson said of the Stonecrest Farm homebred. "He has come out of his travels really well. The Kentucky Cup was definitely on our radar, but we want to go into his next two races fresh and ready to roll."
The 5-year-old gelding is likely for the Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) at Hawthorne on Oct. 2. If he does well, Johnson plans to take him for a second run at the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I). He finished sixth last year in the Classic, run at Santa Anita. This year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships will be held at Lone Star Park Oct. 30.
Perfect Drift was the 120-pound highweight for the Kentucky Cup Classic.
Roses in May, who twice beat Perfect Drift this summer, will be in for the Classic, according to trainer Dale Romans. John Velasquez will have the mount for Sarah and Ken Ramsey's 4-year-old son of Devil His Due. He will be the actual starting highweight at 118 pounds.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin has nominated both Seattle Fitz and Eye of the Tiger to the Classic and will make a decision after working both at Belmont tomorrow.
Adreamisborn, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, is set for the Classic and will be ridden by Russell Baze.
Trainer Cole Norman will send Pie N Burger in the Classic, with Jamie Theriot to ride.
Colita, who was scratched from last Saturday's Woodward Stakes (gr. I) was removed from the list of possible starters by trainer Todd Pletcher.Weights for the Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II)
Roses in May--118
Eye of the Tiger--115
Country Be Gold--114
Pie N Burger--114