Belmont-Bound Perfect Drift to Breeze Saturday; Request For Parole Works on Turf

Perfect Drift is scheduled to work Saturday morning at Churchill Downs in preparation for the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes. Stonecrest Farm's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) third-place finisher will work every Saturday ahead of the June 8 race, according to trainer Murray Johnson.

"He's doing great," Johnson said. "He had a real strong gallop on Tuesday and we'll just work him every Saturday up to the big race."

The Dynaformer gelding has won three of seven career races, including the Lane's End Spiral Stakes (gr. II). Johnson said the decision to skip the Preakness was not an easy one.

"It's been a little tough because he's doing so well," he said. "But we want to do what's right for the horse."

Spiral third-place finisher Request For Parole breezed four furlongs on the Churchill Downs turf course Thursday. The Derby fifth-place finisher got the distance in 51 1/5 while working around the "dogs" and under jockey Robby Albarado.

"Robby said he was kind of looking around during the first part of it, then he made the turn and when he straightened out, he just exploded," said trainer Steve Margolis. "I think he went the last quarter in :24-and-change. He went :51-and-a-fifth and we weren't looking for time -- we just wanted to see how he handled it."

Request For Parole will likely start next in the Jefferson Cup (gr. IIIT) June 8 on Churchill's turf course, with the one-mile Northern Dancer Stakes (June 15) on the main track also an option.

"I think the horse will run over anything," Margolis said. "The fact that we could have another option with him if he runs well on the grass is good. He's got high action, which suggests he might like the turf."