Perfect Drift Seeks Washington Park Hat Trick

Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift looks to become the first horse to win the Washington Park Handicap (gr. II) three times on Saturday at Arlington Park.

Arlington richest race contested on the main track at 1 3/16 miles with its $300,000 purse, is also its second oldest after 73 previous renewals .

Perfect Drift won last year's Washington Park by 4 1/2 lengths and also captured the 2003 edition. He is the 2-1 morning line choice in the field of seven.

The 7-year-old Dynaformer gelding nearly won the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs in his last start June 17, only to be nosed at the wire by 91-1 shot Seek Gold. Regular rider Mark Guidry has the mount for trainer Murray Johnson. Perfect Drift breaks from the rail and carries top weight of 119 pounds.

Perfect Drift, whose career record stands at 11-11-5 in 38 races, has earned more than $4.4 million. He ran third in the 2002 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

A pair of horses on the comeback trail, Jay Em Ess Stable's Suave and Barbara Cesare's Second of June, both graded stakes winners, loom as major rivals to Perfect Drift.

Suave, the A. P. Indy horse, returned to action after a three-month layoff to record his first victory of the year with a wire-to-wire score over Second of June in an allowance optional claimer at Churchill Downs on June 16. Last year, the Paul McGee charge won the Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) and was second in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) at Belmont Park. Calvin Borel has the mount.

Second of June returned from 14 months on the sidelines in that same June 16 allowance, where he just missed getting the victory. A four-time victor, the son of Louis Quatorze has been injury plagued over the last two years and has not visited the winner's circle since capturing the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park in January 2004. Robby Albarado has the call aboard the 5-year-old horse.

Three Hour Nap comes off a second-place finish in the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) earlier this month. Hugh Robertson & Homewrecker Racing LLC's Three Hour Nap won the National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne Race Course in April.

$300,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. II, Race 8, 4:25 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 3/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, ML Odds
1. Perfect Drift (KY), Mark Guidry, 119, 2/1
2. Three Hour Nap (KY), Francisco C. Torres, 115, 4/1
3. Iosilver (MD), Eduardo E. Perez, 111, 10/1
4. O'Connell's (BRZ), Jesse M. Campbell, 114, 12/1
5. Second of June (FL), Robby Albarado, 116, 4/1
6. Suave (KY), Calvin H. Borel, 118, 3/1
7. Nolan's Cat (KY), Christopher A. Emigh, 113, 6/1