Perfect Shirl got a perfect trip in Wednesday’s Grade 2,
$150,000 Lake George at Saratoga Race Course,
posting a 9-1 upset in the field of 12 to earn her first graded stakes victory.
Patiently ridden by John Velazquez, Perfect Shirl sat sixth
off early fractions of 23.65 and 47.76 set by Go Ask Alex. Advancing on the
turn, she swung four wide straightening for home and overtook 57-1 longshot
Exclusive Love in the final jumps for a three-quarter length victory.
Her final time for the 1 1/16th miles over the
firm Inner Turf Course was 1:41.28.
“It worked out perfectly,” Velazquez said. “She broke well,
and was nice and relaxed in the middle of the pack. I committed to holding my
position, and then, when I asked her, she responded very well.”
Perfect Shirl paid $20.60 for a $2 win bet and Exclusive
Love completed the $1,012 exacta. The Irish-bred No Explaining, stablemate to
Perfect Shirl, was third for a $6,103 trifecta payout.
both ran the races they usually run,” Sue Lorimer, assistant to trainer Roger
Attfield, said of the first and third finishers. “Roger had given the riders
the instructions to just sit off it and let them come with one run, and both
did that. It looked like No Explaining got into a little traffic there down the
lane or they might have run one-two.”
It was the first start in stakes company for both fillies,
and Perfect Shirl more than doubled her earnings to $170,557 with the victory.
Charles E. Fipke’s homebred daughter of Perfect Soul has now assembled three
consecutive wins dating back to a June 13 maiden score on the turf at Woodbine
and claims a 3-1-1 record from six lifetime starts.
Perfect Shirl’s dam, Lady Shirl, who herself won the 1991
Grade 1 Flower Bowl at Belmont Park, has now produced four stakes winners on
the New York turf. Her offspring include 2005 Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic
winner Shakespeare, 2007 De La Rose winner Fantastic Shirl and 2010 Grade 2 New
York winner Lady Shakespeare.
Lorimer said both fillies would return to Attfield’s base in
where the trainer would consider his options for their next starts.
Khancord Kid was fourth, Crescenda was fifth and Dynazaper,
Neon Light, House of Grace, Bay to Bay, Caminadora, Go Ask Alex and Strike It
Rich completed the order of finish.