Perfect Drift Continues to Train Impressively

Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, third in the 2002 Kentucky Derby, continued his impressive training toward a possible run in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) with a sharp six furlong breeze Saturday at Trackside Louisville.

The 4-year-old Dynaformer gelding covered the distance over a fast surface at the seven-furlong oval in 1:11.80. Jockey Joe Deegan rode Perfect Drift in the work for trainer Murray Johnson.

"He went the last three-eighths in 33-and-three (fifths) today," said Johnson. "It's not like we're going off fast and just finishing okay. He's going off at his comfortable speed. He's bigger and stronger."

Johnson said the Stephen Foster is the primary target for Perfect Drift, although he said the $400,000 Californian (gr. II) on the same day at Hollywood Park remains an option.

"If all of the sudden three or four of the top ones turn up here (in the Foster) for some reason, then we would have to consider going elsewhere," he said. "But being home and as well as he's doing and everything, we really want to stay here. We'll do whatever is best for the horse."

Nominations close at midnight (EDT) Saturday for the Stephen Foster Handicap and the three other major stakes races that make up the June 14 card. Those races are the $300,000 Fleur de Lis (gr. II) for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles, the $200,000 Regret (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16-miles on turf, and the $100,000 Northern Dancer for 3-year-olds at a mile.