Perfect Drift, winning the Spiral Stakes.

Perfect Drift, winning the Spiral Stakes.

Skip Dickstein

Perfect Drift Breezes at Churchill Training Center

From Churchill Downs
Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, winner of the grade II Lane's End Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park, took a step toward an expected start in Kentucky Derby 128 with a solid breeze on Friday over the seven-furlong track at Churchill Downs' Trackside training center.

The bay son of Dynaformer worked four furlongs "handily" over a "fast" track in :48.80, which was the fastest of five works at the distance. Jockey Joe Deegan was in the irons as Perfect Drift completed the first quarter in :24.80 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.80. The work was the first serious training move for the Murray Johnson trainee since his March23 victory in the Lane's End Spiral.

"The work went perfect -- a nice and easy stretch of the legs," Johnson said. "He just did it very professionally. He's right on track."

Johnson does not plan to race Perfect Drift before the May 4 Kentucky Derby. He said the gelding would contest the 1 1/4-mile "Run for the Roses" off a series of works over the Trackside course. Johnson said Perfect Drift would have one work in each of the weeks leading up to the Derby.

"That leaves us time for four more works," he said. "One of them, not the next one but the one after, will be a very serious work and then we'll have a couple of easy works going into the race."

While most of the other Kentucky Derby contenders will be competing in their final prep races over the next two weeks before traveling to Churchill Downs to continue their training, Perfect Drift will remain in training at Trackside. Johnson said he is not concerned about the six-week gap between the Lane's End Spiral and the Derby.

"I think it's ideal -- let them knock themselves out," he said. "To think that a horse can't be ready after six weeks is ridiculous. In Europe they do it all the time. You can do it. It's just knowing your horse and having the right program, then getting lucky in the big one and making yourself look good."

Perfect Drift has a record of 3-2-0 in five races. Eddie Delahoussaye rode Perfect Drift in the Lane's End Spiral and will be aboard again in the Kentucky Derby.