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Perfect Shirl Begins Season in The Very One

Perfect Shirl, ridden by jockey Patrick Husbands and trained by Roger Attfield wins the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on on November 4, 2011.
Charles Fipke’s 5-year-old Kentucky homebred mare Perfect Shirl stormed from off the pace to post a 28-to-1 upset in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) last out on Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs for trainer Roger Attfield, and was prepared to make her next start in an invitational race at San Isidro in Buenos Aires, Argentina in December, but air transportation problems precluded the trip.
 
Attfield gave her a little break at his Payson Park winter quarters and she is set make her season debut in a full field of 12 set for Sunday’s The Very One Stakes (G3) at 1 3/8 miles on turf with her Breeders’ Cup jockey John Velazquez in the saddle. The daughter of Perfect Soul had run well in major stakes last season, but failed to win six starts before her three-quarters of a length score at Churchill.
 
Perfect Shirl faces a formidable rival in Green Hills Farm’s 6-year-old Chilean-bred mare Casablanca Smile with jockey Kent Desormeaux in the saddle for trainer Shug McGaughey. The daughter of Ocean Terrace has been very consistent at the top level since coming to McGaughey early in 2010 with two wins, three second and a third in as many starts since then, all in stakes races.
 
Casablanca Smile drew off to a seven-length romp in the 12-furlong Dowager Stakes in October of 2010 after a good runner-up effort in the Glens Falls Handicap (G3) at Saratoga. In her only two starts in 2011, she began the year finishing second in the 12-furlong La Prevoyante Stakes (G3) at Calder on Jan. 2 and didn’t run again until winning the Dec. 2 renewal of the same race after an 11-month layoff,
 
“She had some little hind-end issues after she ran in the La Prevoyante early last year and we backed off of her,” said McGaughey. “We had her ready to come back in a race a Belmont in October, but she came up with an abscess in a foot and we had to scratch. We got that cleaned up and she ran big to win the La Prevoyante without a prep, and I’m looking forward to a big season with her.”
 
Another highly-accomplished long-distance stakes performer in the field will be Barbara Hunter’s 6-year-old Keertana, winner for the race last year for trainer Tom Proctor. Regular jockey Jose Lezcano retains the mount on the roan/gray homebred daughter of Johar after a good third-place finish last out behind Zagora in the Endeavor Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs on Feb. 4, her first start since late May.
 
Completing the field for Saturday’s race are Trick or Treat International’s Here to Win, Team Valor International’s Hasay, Catesby Clay’s Woodford Belle, Earle Mack’s Clarinet, Arnold Zetcher’s Good Karma, Mark Gittins’ Shimmering Moment, Theiline Scheumann’s Middle Club, Lael Stable’s Font,  Ramona Bass’ Aquitaine and Columbus Circle partners’ Full Moon Party.
 
Farnsworth Stable’s Dash Dot Dash was entered for ‘main track only’ by trainer Marty Wolfson.
 
 

 

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Older Comments about Perfect Shirl Begins Season in The Very One...

Go Shirl GO!! You and Johnny V are a killer team.

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