Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift continued his preparation for the $400,000-added Clark Handicap (gr. II) on Nov. 29 with a four-furlong work on Saturday at Churchill Downs' Trackside Louisville training center.
Jockey Joe Deegan was in the irons as the 3-year-old Dynaformer gelding covered the distance in 48.80 over a "fast" track. The breeze was the first for Perfect Drift since a troubled run in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Arlington Park won by Volponi. The Murray Johnson trainee finished last in the field of 12 after losing his left hind shoe in the race's early moments.
"We were happy," said Johnson. "Everything's in good shape."
Perfect Drift has enjoyed a strong year in which he ran third in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and won the Spiral (gr. II) at Turfway Park and the Indiana Derby (gr. III) at Hoosier Park. Johnson said he has rebounded well since his difficult journey in the Classic.
"Breeders' Cup was very disappointing but we feel that, unlike the Belmont (in which he finished 10th), we had a legitimate excuse. He had a shoe taken off him a couple of strides out of the gate. We just feel very fortunate that he didn't injure himself more. He came out of the race in great shape."
Johnson said Jon Court would ride Perfect Drift in the Clark.