Last year's winner of the Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park, Perfect Drift, will not return to defend his title, trainer Murray Johnson said 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.
The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships comes to Lone Star Park. The question is, what to expect? Most fans and horsemen don't know a thing about Lone Star, mainly the dirt surface, grass course, and any track biases. So, sit back for the next eight weeks or so and follow the world's best horses on their journey to the unknown.
Pleasantly Perfect, rebounding strongly from defeat three weeks ago in the San Diego Handicap (gr. II), convincingly took the centerpiece of the Del Mar meeting, the Pacific Classic (gr. I), with a scintillating turn of foot the last quarter mile.
Diamond A Racing Corporations' multi-millionaire Pleasantly Perfect was labeled the early 6-5 favorite in a field of eight set to go postward in Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar.
Likely favorite Pleasantly Perfect led a large contingent of Pacific Classic (gr. I) contenders Monday getting in their final serious preparations for Sunday's $1 million event at 1 1/4 miles.
Perfect Drift, who turned in a dynamite second-place performance in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga last weekend, could be headed for the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) Aug. 22 at Del Mar, too.
Roses in May and Perfect Drift, the first two finishers in the Cornhusker Breeders' Cup (gr. III) a month ago, produced the same result Saturday in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course.
Five weeks after giving everything he had to win the Suburban Handicap (gr. I) by a neck over Newfoundland, Edmund Gann's Peace Rules will have his work cut out for him once again as he faces a field with quick speed horses in Saturday's 77th running of the $750,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Roses that bloomed a little later than in May left trainer Dale Romans handing out bouquets of praise following Saturday's $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) in Iowa.
Grade I winner Perfect Drift leads a field of six in Saturday's $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III).
Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, winner of the 2003 Stephen Foster Handicap and third to Colonial Colony in this year's renewal of the grade I race, continues his rapid recovery from throat surgery and is scheduled to return to training early
Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, winner of the 2003 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) and third to Colonial Colony in this year's renewal, is recovering from throat surgery to correct an entrapped epiglottis.
Colonial Colony, the longest shot in the field at odds of 62-1 with 12 losses in a row, prevailed in a thrilling stretch drive with favored Southern Image to capture the $810,750 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) by a nose Saturday at Churchill Downs on a sloppy track.
Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, an upset winner over eventual Horse of the Year Mineshaft in last year's running of the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), will face some of the toughest handicap rivals in American racing when he bids for a second consecutive victory in Saturday's $750,000-added event at Churchill Downs.
"NTRA Super Saturday," five shows of horse racing coverage airing on ABC and ESPN, will make its debut Saturday on ESPN with a two-hour telecast (4:00-6:00 p.m. ET) featuring five graded stakes from four different race tracks with reporters stationed at each venue.
William S. Farish's Midway Road will remain at Churchill Downs to participate in Saturday's 23rd running of the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I). The field is also expected to include Southern Image, Peace Rules, and Perfect Drift.
A strong five-furlong work on Saturday by Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift has trainer Murray Johnson looking forward to the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 12, his gelding's bid for a second consecutive victory in Churchill Downs' premier race for older horses.
Defending winner Perfect Drift, 2003 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Funny Cide, Pimlico Special (gr. I) victor Southern Image, and Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) hero Peace Rules head a stellar group of 21 horses nominated to the 23rd running of Churchill Downs' $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) on June 12.
Friday's Alysheba Stakes is open to 3-year-olds, but a sizable group of older horses will go to the gate for the 8 1/2-furlong event including Kodema, Spanish Empire, Perfect Drift, and Sarava.
Perfect Soul remained perfect on the Keeneland turf course, winning the competitive Maker's Mark Mile (gr. IIT) Friday under a well-judged ride by Edgar Prado in course record time.
A field of 10 older turf milers including Claiborne Farm's Stroll, who is riding a five-race winning streak, have passed the entry box for Friday's Maker's Mark Mile (gr. IIT) at Keeneland. The $200,000 race also includes $2-million earner Perfect Drift.
Fueled by full fields and strong simulcast support, the Hawthorne fall meet, which ended Dec. 31, closed with positive numbers as the first full year of racing under the joint venture of Hawthorne National LLC was completed. The spring National Jockey Club at Hawthorne meet posted strong numbers and the Suburban Downs Harness Meet was solid as well.
Fueled by full fields and strong simulcast support, the Hawthorne fall meet, which ended Dec. 31, closed with positive numbers as the first full year of racing under the joint venture of Hawthorne National LLC was completed. The Spring National Jockey Club at Hawthorne posted strong numbers and the Suburban Downs Harness Meet was good as well. It was all a springboard for good things to come this fall at Hawthorne.
Perfect Drift, the winner of Churchill Downs' $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) will not race again in 2003 following last week's disappointing sixth-place finish behind Pleasantly Perfect in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Oak Tree at Santa Anita.
As in past Breeders' Cups, there are longshots galore in this year's World Thoroughbred Championships. Finding them, however, is another matter. This year, the task will be more challenging than usual.
Bob Baffert wishes the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) was tomorrow. Make that today. The $4-million dollar race can't come too soon for Baffert, who says Congaree is doing super after suffering a quarter crack last week.
Stonecrest Farm's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) contender Perfect Drift, Select Stable's Distaff (gr. I) hope Take Charge Lady, and Team Valor's Juvenile (gr. I) hopeful Tiger Hunt each worked five furlongs in dense fog at Churchill Downs Saturday morning in their last training moves before they fly to California to compete in the Breeders' Cup at Oak Tree at Santa Anita Oct. 25.
Perfect Drift turned in a sharp 5-furlong work in 1:01 1/5 at Trackside Training Center Saturday morning, in preparation for the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I). Gary Stevens has been named to ride the son of Dynaformer.
Perfect Drift, whose connections are considering a run in the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), will work Saturday at Churchill Downs' Trackside Louisville training center.
After weeks of indecision, Perfect Drift will take his place in the starting gate for the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I), according to Bryan Reed, son of owner Dr. William Reed.
With the defection of Mineshaft, as well as Empire Maker, the field for the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) is up in the air, and will be for another week, until several Eastern owners and trainers decide which way to go.
Volponi, who used the Meadowlands Cup (gr. III) as a springboard to victory in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), breezed a half mile in :49 2/5 at Belmont for Friday night's running of the 1 1/8-mile event.
With the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) in a state of confusion, this is as good a time as any to predict how this year's Classic picture will unfold.
Perfect Drift edged away from Tenpins in the stretch to win Sunday's $750,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) on opening day at the Illinois track, but his trainer remained doubtful about a run in the Breeders's Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) Oct. 25 at Santa Anita.
Multiple graded stakes winner Perfect Drift is a clear standout in a six-horse field for Sunday's 67th running of the $750,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) at Hawthorne Race Course.
- By Steve Haskin
With all signs pointing to Candy Ride being put away for the year, and with Perfect Drift all but certain to bypass the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), America's richest race likely has lost two of its biggest stars, and there is some uncertainty regarding Mineshaft.
Although many will have the tendency to dismiss Congaree in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) after being outkicked by Perfect Drift in the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II), the son of Arazi cannot be blamed for the defeat.
Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, with Pat Day in the irons, handled favored Congaree with surprising ease in Saturday's $350,000 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park.
Stonerside Stable's Congaree, an earner of more than $2.7 million and winner last out of the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I), was installed the 4-5 morning line choice for Saturday's Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park.
Stonerside Stable's Congaree has been assigned 124 pounds for Turfway Park's Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) to be run Saturday. The nine-time stakes winner and earner of more than $2.7 million has been asked to spot four pounds to his nearest rival, Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) winner Perfect Drift.
The countdown to the 2003 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships began this past weekend, and the only things we really learned are that the American turf horses are going to have to pull a rabbit out of the hat to hold off the Europeans in the Turf once again, and the 3-year-old fillies now look totally overmatched by the trio of "Wonder Women" -- Azeri, Sightseek, and Wild Spirit.
European-based Sulamani, a winner of multiple Group I outings on other continents, and the recently American-based grade I victor Storming Home, head a field of 13 of the best turf horses throughout the world in Saturday's 21st running of the Arlington Million (gr. IT).
Trainer Murray Johnson is 100 percent confident in the abilities of Perfect Drift to copy his grade I winning dirt form to the turf for Saturday's Arlington Million (gr. IT) at Arlington Park.
Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said Saturday's Arlington Million (gr. IT) at Arlington Park is a stepping stone toward the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships for European invader Sulamani.
Stonecrest Farm's homebred Perfect Drift burst from the pack in mid-stretch for an impressive five-length victory in the $400,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. II) on Saturday at Arlington Park.
Perfect Drift and Iron Deputy, both winners of graded stakes last time out, will clash in a field of five set for the Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park Saturday.
Arlington Park's small but select field in Saturday's grade II Washington Park Handicap received an additional boost of quality with the addition of Susan & John Moore's Iron Deputy.
Stephen Foster Handicap winner Perfect Drift worked four furlongs Saturday morning in preparation for the Washington Park Handicap on July 19 at Arlington Park.
Aeneas and Perfect Drift are pointed at the July 19 Washington Park Handicap; Weld to bring Evolving Tactics for American Derby.
Trainer Murray Johnson said Perfect Drift's first race since his June 14 victory over Mineshaft in the Stephen Foster (gr. I) would come at Arlington Park on July 19 in the $400,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. II).
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