Thursday, September 25, 2008 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . September 25, 2008 . . . Multimillionaire Perfect Drift will return to Turfway Park one more time for congratulations and honors as he begins his retirement. A special celebration and ceremony is planned for Saturday, September 27, as part of festivities surrounding the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions.
Now nine years old, Perfect Drift was bred and campaigned throughout his career by Stonecrest Farm, the Kansas City, Mo., breeding and racing operation of Dr. William A. Reed, a cardiovascular surgeon who now chairs the Department of Cardiovascular Diseases at Kansas University Hospital in Kansas City, Ks.
"The whole family has enjoyed a wonderful experience with Perfect Drift for the past nine years," said Dr. Reed, who will be on hand for the ceremony. "'Drift was foaled in Kentucky but grew up here on our farm. This is just a new time in his life."
Saturday will be a homecoming of sorts for the bay gelding, a son of Dynaformer out of the Naskra mare Nice Gal. "'Drift broke his maiden at Turfway and won the [Lane's End] Spiral and Kentucky Cup Classic there," said Dr. Reed. "He established his reputation and fan base at Turfway Park, so it seemed appropriate that he would return to his racing home for his retirement."
Perfect Drift will be led to the paddock by his longtime groom, Richard Anderson, and exercise rider, Mike Bowlds. After a brief presentation, Murray Johnson, who trained Perfect Drift for all but his last four races, will saddle 'Drift to lead this year's Classic field onto the track.
Perfect Drift consistently raced at the highest levels across his eight-year career. From a remarkable 50 career starts he posted 11 wins, 14 seconds, and 7 thirds and collected $4,714,213 in earnings. Seeking out the best horses to race in the decade, he won seven graded stakes and was graded stakes-placed in 14 others. He competed in five consecutive renewals of the Breeders' Cup Classic, finishing third in 2005.
"Because of 'Drift's ability and being a real example of what a Thoroughbred horse should be—his management, his long career and many fans—we hope he will be an example for others to follow. If the really great horses could be actively racing and develop a fan base and support, that's what racing really needs," said Dr. Reed.
In his first start, November 16, 2001, Perfect Drift finished second by a neck at Churchill Downs. He broke his maiden in his next race, December 19 at Turfway. He won the Turfway Prevue Stakes in 2002 leading up to his win in the Lane's End Spiral Stakes and a third-place finish in that year's Kentucky Derby. He completed his racing career September 1, 2008, finishing third in the Windy Sands Handicap at Del Mar.
First post Saturday is 1:10 p.m. Admission and parking are free. The Classic is the last of the five stakes races that make up the Kentucky Cup series and the 10th of 12 races on the card.