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Jun 20, 2003

Stephen Foster Handicap goes to Perfect Drift


(Sports Network) - Perfect Drift, with a perfect ride by Pat Day, collared the favorite Mineshaft to win Saturday"s $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs.

Perfect Drift was making just his third start of the year after winning three of eight races in 2002. Last year, the gelding finished third in the Kentucky Derby between wins in the Spiral Stakes and the Indiana Derby. He also was 10th in the Belmont Stakes.

In the Stephen Foster Handicap, the pace was set by Crafty Shaw with Consistency and Proud Citizen pressing the leader. Heading into the far turn Mineshaft moved up from the outside to take lead. Coming out of the turn, Mineshaft appeared on his way to his fourth straight stakes victory.

With a furlong to run, Perfect Drift drew alongside of Mineshaft and the two battled to the wire. Perfect Drift prevailed by a nose, covering the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47 2/5, only a one-fifth of a second off the stakes and track record.

Finishing third was Aldebaran, the second choice, and Crafty Shaw was fourth.

Perfect Drift is owned by Stonecest Farm and trained by Murray Johnson. The four-year-old added $450,000 to his bankroll, which now stands at better than $1.2 million. His two previous races this year were both on the turf. The Foster marked the first time Pat Day ever rode Perfect Drift.



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