Sunday, September 14, 2003

Turfway's Perfect Drift

Defeats favorite Congaree by one length in Classic duel

By George Rorrer
Enquirer contributor

Perfect Drift, with Pat Day aboard, is led into the winner's circle after victory in the Kentucky Cup Classic Saturday at Turfway Park.
(AP photo)
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A record crowd announced at 11,223 got what it came for in Saturday's 10th annual Kentucky Cup Classic thoroughbred horse race at Turfway Park.

A sizzling duel was what it expected, and that's what it got when local favorite Perfect Drift ended up a length in front after a nose-to-nose battle down the long home stretch.

For once, bigger and better things may be in store for the runner-up than for the winner.

Trainer Murray Johnson said the result won't change a decision to keep Perfect Drift out of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Oct. 25 at Santa Anita. Instead, he said, Perfect Drift will run in the Hawthorne Gold Cup Sept. 27 as scheduled.

Trainer Bob Baffert said Congaree will get a shot at winning the Breeders' Cup Classic.

"This will set him up for the Breeders' Cup," Baffert said. "One thing about this track is it's very demanding, but it should set him up."

Congaree's jockey, Edgar Prado, agreed with Baffert and said he liked the way the runner-up ran.

"He made the lead nice and easy (early),'' Prado said. "He did everything OK but he just didn't win."

Johnson said he doubted that Perfect Drift's back-to-back victories over Mineshaft and Congaree will win him many votes for Horse of the Year because he won't be in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

"It's just something we don't want to do," Johnson said. "It involves traveling to the other coast. It's expensive. This horse has done everything right month after month after month. You know one day it will go wrong, but it's not that time yet."

Perfect Drift, who was not nominated for the Breeders' Cup, showed again how much he likes this northern Kentucky strip, where he is 4-2-0 in six starts, including a win in last year's Lane's End Spiral Stakes.

Perfect Drift has won four of six races this year, with wins in the Washington Park Handicap at Arlington, and a victory over top-rated Mineshaft in the Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs. The $221,500 winner's share in the Grade II Classic put Perfect Drift just over $1 million for the year.

"He broke sharply, but I eased him back just off the pace," winning rider Pat Day said. "Then at the eighth-pole, Congaree kind of folded up. He (Perfect Drift) was in hand to the wire. He was an awesome effort."

Crafty Shaw finished third, then Even the Score and M B Sea.

Perfect Drift, the second favorite, paid $4.80 and $2.10; Congaree returned $2.10 to place. There was no show wagering.

The previous record on-track attendance for the 10-year-old event was 11,090 in 2000.

Turfway Park results


1st-$12,000, mdn cl, 3Yup, 6f.

4 Title Shot (Butler)14.608.204.40
9 Harbor the Drm (Crt)4.002.80
5 Distante (Bejarano)2.60
Off 1:10. Time 1:12.51. Fast. Exacta (4-9) paid $59.40. Superfecta (4-9-5-6) paid $3,445.60. Trifecta (4-9-5) paid $175.60.

3rd-$25,000, mdn spl wt, 2YF, 6f.

9 Stellar Jayne (Vlsqz)5.003.403.00
7 Boston Song (Court)7.805.20
4 Lost Creek (Bejarano)7.20
Off 2:04. Time 1:12.50. Fast. Pick 3 (4-2-9) 3 Correct Paid $191.20. Superfecta (9-7-4-5) paid $5,666.80. Trifecta (9-7-4) paid $578.80. Exacta (9-7) paid $53.20.

5th-$26,800, alc, 3Yup, 6f.

10 Tullynally (Prado)5.804.003.40
5 Atticus Lace (Albarado)7.805.00
7 Gold Mine (Vlsqz)4.20
Off 2:55. Time 1:11.23. Fast. Scratched-Squire Boone, Bayou Buster. Pick 3 (9-5-10) 3 Correct Paid $61.20. Superfecta (10-5-7-3) paid $1,667.80. Trifecta (10-5-7) paid $453.80. Exacta (10-5) paid $75.20.

7th-$25,000, mdn spl wt, 2YF, 6f.

6 Josie G. (Borel)
5 Keep This Cat (Bejarano)3.602.60
9 Stormy Terms (Albarado)2.80
Off 3:50. Time 1:13.61. Fast. Pick 3 (10-5-6) 3 Correct Paid $153.40. Superfecta (6-5-9-4) paid $313.20. Trifecta (6-5-9) paid $119.20. Exacta (6-5) paid $32.80.

9th-$100,000, stk, 2YO F, 1mi, clear.

Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies Stakes

6 Class Above (Prado)3.602.802.10
4 Renaissance Lady (Day)3.002.20
3 Sweet Jo Jo (GnzlzJr)2.10
Off 4:45. Time 1:39.04. Fast. Pick 3 (6-1-6) 3 Correct Paid $199.20. Superfecta (6-4-3-5) paid $125.40. Trifecta (6-4-3) paid $20.80. Exacta (6-4) paid $12.00.

10th-$100,000, stk, 2YO, 1 1/16mi, clear.

Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes

6 Mr. Jester (Bejarano)43.2012.204.00
7 The Cliff's Edge (Sellers)5.202.80
2 Pomeroy (Prado)2.20
Off 5:18. Time 1:46.61. Fast. Scratched-Ruler's Court. dq-Pomeroy (1-3). Pick 4 (6-1-6-6) 4 Correct Paid $5,913.80. Pick 3 (1-6-6) 3 Correct Paid $715.80. Exacta (6-7) paid $228.00. Superfecta (6-7-2-8) paid $2,944.20. Trifecta (6-7-2) paid $885.60. Daily Double (6-6) paid $38.40.

11th-$350,000, stk, 3Yup, 1 1/8 mi.

Kentucky Cup Handicap

3 Perfect Drift (Day)4.802.10No Tix
4 Congaree (Prado)2.10No Tix
2 Crafty Shaw (Sellers)No Tix
Off 5:45. Time 1:50.43. Fast. Pick 3 (6-6-3) 3 Correct Paid $379.00. Exacta (3-4) paid $6.00. Trifecta (3-4-2) paid $13.60. Daily Double (6-3) paid $134.00.

12th-$175,000, stk, 3Yup, 1 1/16mi.

Turfway Breeders' Cup Stakes

9 Smok'n Frolic (Prado)5.603.002.80
2 Awsm Hmr (Albrd)2.802.40
5 So Much More (Borel)3.40
Off 6:14. Time 1:44.98. Fast. Scratched-Desert Gold. Pick 3 (6-3-9) 3 Correct Paid $554.00. Exacta (9-2) paid $17.00. Superfecta (9-2-5-10) paid $381.60. Trifecta (9-2-5) paid $56.00. Daily Double (3-9) paid $10.00.

13th-$100,000, stk, 3YO, 6f, clear.

Kentucky Cup Sprint Stakes

6 Cajun Beat (Velasquez)
7 Clock Stopper (Albarado)4.203.00
11 Champali (Day)2.80
Off 6:41. Time 1:09.54. Fast. Scratched-Salty Genius. Pick 4 (6-3-9-6) 4 Correct Paid $3,512.80. Pick 3 (3-9-6) 3 Correct Paid $122.60. Exacta (6-7) paid $58.20. Superfecta (6-7-11-2) paid $6,028.00. Trifecta (6-7-11) paid $262.80. Daily Double (9-6) paid $29.20.

14th-$25,000, mdn spl wt, 2Y, 6f.

4 Pro Prado (McKee)9.404.203.20
12 Spike the Fever (Borel)5.003.40
6 Yada Boy (Bejarano)4.40
Off 7:05. Time 1:11.44. Fast. Scratched-In Bocca Al Lupo, Premier Hunting. Pick 3 (9-6-4) 3 Correct Paid $230.80. Exacta (4-12) paid $47.00. Superfecta (4-12-6-1) paid $2,546.20. Trifecta (4-12-6) paid $274.60. Daily Double (6-4) paid $35.30.


The Associated Press contributed

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