Perfect Drift May Try Pacific Classic; Total Impact Sizzles

(from Del Mar notes)
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.

"We're nominated," said trainer Murray Johnson Thursday morning from his Louisville headquarters, "and if everything continues to go well, there's a possibility we could turn up there."

Johnson said he and the horse have a shipping date of Tuesday, and if the 5-year-old gelded son of Dynaformer comes for the race he will have the services of Hall of Fame rider Pat Day, who was in the irons for the Whitney Aug. 7.

Johnson said he doesn't expect to work Perfect Drift before the race, since he just ran. Roses in May beat the gelding by a nose. That left him with a career record of nine wins, six seconds and two thirds in 23 starts, with earnings of $2.5 million.

Perfect Drift would join another Louisville-based Pacific Classic prospect, Colonial Colony, the conqueror of Southern Image in Churchill Downs' Stephen H. Foster Handicap (gr. I). Colonial Colony is scheduled to fly on the same plane with Perfect Drift on Tuesday, according to trainer Walter Bindner, Jr.

"He'll work on Monday and ship Tuesday," Bindner said. "He's doing fine. He galloped this morning."

Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Total Impact sizzled seven furlongs in 1:24 2/5 in company over the Del Mar oval Thursday morning.

The move elicited a "just right" from trainer Laura de Seroux as the 6-year-old Chilean-bred showed he's ready.

"We'll give a little sharpener about three days out," the trainer added. "He's a real laid-back horse, so you want to sharpen him a little."

De Seroux said Total Impact would go back to her San Luis Rey Downs base until he comes back for his next move. "I'll take him home because he eats better," she said. "When he's here, he thinks he's going to run, so he doesn't eat as well."

Trainer Bob Baffert left little doubt about whether or not During would run in the 1 1/4 -mile Classic, saying, "Damn right," when asked the question.

He quipped, "The wagon train was leaving too late" to run in the Longacres Mile (gr. III) at Emerald Downs, a race to which During also was nominated.