Attfield's Perfect Soul Superb So Far in 2003

(from Woodbine report)
When Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield compares Perfect Soul to a former Triple Crown winner, you know the horse must be something special.

Five-year-old Perfect Soul, who heads into Sunday's $330,900 Chinese Cultural Center Stakes (Can-II) at 1 3/8 mile at Woodbine in peak form, has been a force in 2003. He has conditioner Attfield grinning from ear-to-ear.

"He would be in the same league as (1989 Triple Crown champion) With Approval," said Attfield, who conditioned the gray through a decorated career. "He was a talented horse with great ability on the turf. So is Perfect Soul."

After a three-wide start and five-wide rally, Perfect Soul drew off on his King Edward Breeders' Cup Stakes' rivals in mid-June at Woodbine, a head-turning 2 ½-length score.

"It wasn't too bad at all," said Attfield, with a laugh. "It wasn't that tough of a trip for him. I'm sure it could have worked out a little differently, but he hasn't run a bad race yet this year."

Back-to-back eighth-place finishes to close out Perfect Soul's 4-year-old campaign in 2002, including October's Breeders' Cup Turf at Arlington Park, had Attfield looking forward to a fresh start in 2003 for the Charles Fipke-owned star, who has five wins from 10 career starts and $558,035 in earnings.

"It was just the wrong decision, he wasn't ready for the Breeders' Cup," reasoned Attfield. "He knows what he's doing out there now. When you have that kind of ability, it's very dangerous.

"His personality has changed tremendously, too. He was a very hard horse to train and handle when I first got him. His attitude has changed and he's a nice horse to be around."

A 5 ¼-length win at Keeneland in April to start his 2003 campaign was followed by a narrow half-length loss to Dr. Brendler in the Dixie Handicap at Pimlico in May.

It was Perfect Soul's electrifying effort in the King Edward, however, that has prompted Attfield to have great expectations heading into Sunday's Chinese Cultural Center over the Toronto oval's E.P. Taylor Turf Course.

"He's won on every type of turf. He ran on a bog in Maryland, good, soft...he's just a very versatile horse," said the six-time Sovereign Award winner as the nation's top trainer. "He's a happy horse and he's training well."

Robert Landry, who rode Perfect Soul to all of five of his wins, gets the call Sunday from post three.

Chinese Cultural Center Stakes (Can-II), 3 & up, 1 3/8 mile on turf
PP / Horse / Trainer / Jockey
1 / Stage Classic / David Cotey / Emile Ramsammy
2 / Portcullis / Mark Frostad / Slade Callaghan
3 / Perfect Soul / Roger Attfield / Robert Landry
4 / Strut The Stage / Mark Frostad / Todd Kabel
5 / Colonial Colony / Walter Bindner / Richard Dos Ramos
6 / Deputy Strike / Kiaran McLaughlin / Na Somsanith
7 / Angel On The Wing / Mark Frostad / Laurie Gulas
8 / Soldierofpleasure / David Bell / Jim McAleney