Leparoux Secures Mount on Perfect Drift in Kentucky Cup Classic
by Margaret Ransom
Date Posted: 9/20/2006 6:30:01 PM
Last Updated: 9/23/2006 1:59:24 PM

Perfect Drift gets new rider for Kentucky Cup.
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Photo: Skip Dickstein
Leading apprentice jockey Julien Leparoux will be aboard Stonecrest Farm's multi-millionaire Perfect Drift for the first time when the 7-year-old gelding heads postward in the Sept. 30 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park, the rider's agent, Steve Bass, has confirmed.

Perfect Drift had been ridden by Mark Guidry in his last 10 starts, including a fourth-place finish in the Aug. 20 Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar.

"I had heard they were looking to make a change, looking for a new rider; so I contacted Murray (trainer Johnson), and he called me back," Bass said. "It was a mutual type deal. I went to them, and they came to me thinking Julian would be a good fit."

Bass said that, so far, Leparoux only has the commitment for the Kentucky Cup but is hopeful a strong finish will lead to a mount in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Churchill Downs Nov. 5.

"I'd like to think that a good performance at Turfway would allow Julien to ride him in the Breeders' Cup, but I don't have the commitment as of now," Bass said. "But he's very excited to ride the horse and believes they can win."

Kentucky-bred Perfect Drift has won or placed in 24 stakes events over his 40-race career and has banked $4,590,483. The bay son of Dynaformer won the 2003 Kentucky Cup Classic, as well as that year's Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I). He also finished third in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic at Belmont Park.

Leparoux is the nation's leading jockey by number of victories with 324 through Sept. 19. He is set to ride his final day as an apprentice on Sunday.

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