Charles Fipke's Irish homebred Perfect Soul wound up for his late bid from the far outside in the final turn and went on to tally an easy 2 1/2-length victory over Strut the Stage in Sunday's $336,000 King Edward Breeders' Cup Handicap (Can-IIT) on the Woodbine turf.
The 5-year-old son of Sadler's Wells, sent off as the 8-5 favorite with Robert Landry in the saddle, covered the 1 1/8-mile test for 3-year-olds and up in 1:49 3/5 on a good course. Strut the Stage, ridden by Todd Kabel, was 1 1/4 length in front of Del Mar Show and Pat Day. A field of nine contested the King Edward.
Perfect Soul, carrying 119 pounds, collected his first career stakes victory for trainer Roger Attfield. He came into the race after turning in a half-length loss to Dr. Brendler in his previous start, the Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) on May 17 at Pimlico.
The victory was worth $203,760 to Fipke, a geologist who also owns Diamond Fury, a $2.7 million public auction purchase. Perfect Soul, from the Secretariat mare Ball Chairman, had a runner-up finish in the 2002 Niagara Breeders' Cup Handicap (Can-IT) at Woodbine. The victory was Perfect Soul's fifth in 10 starts, all on the grass, and pushed his career earnings to more than $550,000.
Breaking last, Landry let the bay horse sit eighth down the backstretch while racing away from the rail as Tap the Admiral dueled Union Place through modest splits of :24 2/5, :48 1/5 and 1:12 4/5. On the far turn Perfect Soul moved up to fifth and launched a five-wide rally. He gained control in upper stretch and pulled away.
Perfect Soul paid $5.40, $3.50 and $2.50. Strut the Stage, the 121-pound high weight, returned $3.90 and $2.80. Del Mar Show, 119 pounds, paid $2.80 to show. The $2 exacta was worth $24.40.