Pleasantly Perfect always fires when he's fresh and the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner, out of action since winning the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) in March, is training as though he'll be ready for Sunday's $250,000 San Diego Handicap (gr. II) At Del Mar Sunday.
A winner of four in a row for trainer Richard Mandella, the 6-year-old son of Pleasant Colony is using the 1 1/16-mile San Diego as a prep for the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) Aug. 22.
In every case except one over the past two years Pleasantly Perfect has won after a freshening.
However regular rider Alex Solis is out following back surgery. Mike Smith, who is well acquainted with Pleasantly Perfect as a result of five earlier rides on the horse, has the call for the San Diego.
Pleasantly Perfect breezed three furlongs in a bullet 34.60 Thursday.
San Diego contender Reba's Gold, from the Dan Hendricks barn, worked the same distance in 36 seconds Friday morning with Luis Ortega in the saddle.
Trainer Marcelo Polanco, who will send out Night Patrol to tackle Pleasantly Perfect, said simply, "Maybe he'll be tired."
Also set to challenge Pleasantly Perfect is defending champion Taste of Paradise.
Pleasantly Perfect will carry high weight of 124 pounds and will give the other contenders from six to 14 pounds. $250,000 San Diego Handicap (gr. II), 3 & up, 1 1/6 mile
PP. Horse, weight, Jockey
1. Choctaw Nation, 114, Victor Espinoza
2. During, 118, Corey Nakatani
3. Taste of Paradise, 115, Jon Court
4. Night Patrol, 112, Tyler Baze
5. Nose The Trade, 114, Kent Desormeaux
6. Decorador, 110, Goncalino Almeida
7. Pleasantly Perfect, 124, Mike Smith
8. Reba's Gold, 114, David Flores.