Perfect Drift has been galloping at Santa Anita and is nearing his first breeze, trainer Richard Mandella said March 23.
The 9-year-old earner of $4,680,691 had the beginnings of a fracture in a cannon bone and underwent surgery to insert a screw in his leg last fall before Mandella took over as the gelding’s new conditioner.
“He’s about ready for a little breeze, but we’re in no hurry with him,” Mandella said.
Dr. William Reed, owner and breeder of Perfect Drift, transferred the son of Dynaformer from Murray Johnson to Mandella last September. Perfect Drift has spent most of his career in the Midwest, winning such races as the 2003 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), but has twice finished second in Del Mar’s Pacific Classic (gr. I).
Two other members of Mandella’s barn, 3-year-olds Into Mischief and Crown of Thorns, continue to do well, though they will not make any of the Triple Crown events.
“Into Mischief will probably miss another week of training, and we’ll probably see him (in a race) in late summer,” Mandella said.
Into Mischief bypassed the March 15 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) and came off the Triple Crown trail due to an abscess in his left hind foot, which was apparently bothering him when he ran second in the Feb. 10 San Vicente Stakes (gr. II). The son of Harlan's Holiday—Leslie’s Lady, by Tricky Creek, won the 2007 CashCall Futurity (gr. I) at Hollywood Park for Mandella and owner B. Wayne Hughes.
Crown of Thorns developed two small stress fractures in his left shin, and screws were put into the shin to stabilize it. Also owned by Hughes, Crown of Thorns captured this year’s Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) after breaking his maiden by seven lengths.
“I’m glad we caught it,” said Mandella, who added that the son of Repent—Crowning Touch, by Thunder Gulch , will likely not race again until 2009.