Perfect Drift, pre-entered in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic, Powered by Dodge (gr. I), breezed five furlongs at the 'sloppy' Churchill Downs Training Center in 1:01 1/5 Saturday morning.
The Murray Johnson-trained gelding, who has raced in the last three Breeders' Cup Classics with little impact, will fly to New York on Wednesday for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park on Saturday. Jockey Mark Guidry has the mount in the Classic.
"We're right on schedule," Johnson said. "He worked very well."
The 6-year-old Perfect Drift has started 33 times while banking more than $3.7 million. He has raced at Belmont Park just once, finishing 10th to Sarava and Medaglia d'Oro in the 2002 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
"We're not worried about the track. He'll like it," Johnson said. "He was feeling the effects of a long campaign (before). He had been in serious training from January. (Jockey Eddie Delahoussaye) just wrapped up on him and took care of him in the Belmont."
Perfect Drift steps into the Classic off a disappointing fourth-place finish as the 4-5 favorite in the Sept. 24 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II). The race was run over a sloppy track, a track Johnson says the gelding disliked.
"He never got comfortable and just hated it," Johnson said. "He came out of the race a little stiff and sore, but he's doing fine now."