Pleasantly Perfect hopes to repeat in Dodge Classic.

Pleasantly Perfect hopes to repeat in Dodge Classic.

Mike Corrado

Pleasantly Perfect 'Never Better' After Big Drill

Trainer Richard Mandella said defending $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge champion Pleasantly Perfect has "never been better" after a 1 1/8-mile workout in 1:50 3/5 at Santa Anita on Saturday.

"He went terrific," Mandella said. "He went a mile-and-an-eighth in :50 and a little change. He pulled up his mile-and-a-quarter in 2:03 and a little change. This was his big one. We've built up to it over the last month to this point and the rest will kind of taper off from here. Because he hasn't raced in a while, I had to give him something similar to a race."

Pleasantly Perfect, owned by Dallas financier Gerald Ford, won the Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar on Aug. 22. Following that race, Mandella announced he would train the 6-year-old up to the Oct. 30 Classic 10 weeks later. Last year, Pleasantly Perfect prepared for the Classic with a race in early October.

"He's as fit as he's ever been," Mandella assured. "We had a little disappointing day in the San Diego (Handicap on Aug. 1), but he made up for it in the next one and I think he's in as good of shape or better now. He's never been better."

Mandella confirmed that Pleasantly Perfect will fly into Dallas on Oct. 25, five days out from the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Lone Star Park.