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Horse racing

Congaree frozen out in warmup

By Wire services
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 14, 2003

FLORENCE, Ky. - Perfect Drift spoiled Congaree's prep for the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup, winning by a length Saturday in the $350,000 Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park.

Perfect Drift, ridden by Pat Day, stalked 4-5 favorite Congaree and Crafty Shaw until the top of the stretch. Perfect Drift caught the favorite and pulled away as Congaree was eased a bit in the closing yards of the 11/8-mile race.

"He broke sharply, but I eased him back just off the pace," 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."

RUFFIAN HANDICAP: Wild Spirit started slow and finished strong to win the $300,000 race at Belmont Park in New York, and trainer Bobby Frankel could have another star filly for the Breeders' Cup.

After breaking last from the No.1 gate, Wild Spirit was moved outside by jockey Jerry Bailey and made her winning move around the final turn over 11/16 miles, scoring a 31/2-length victory over You, also trained by Frankel.

In winning her third race in four starts this year, 4-year-old Wild Spirit joins stablemate Sightseek as two of the top threats to horse of the year Azeri in the $2-million Breeders' Cup Distaff.

"I'm fortunate to have three very good fillies," Frankel said. "You ran a great race, but Wild Spirit ran super."

In three other graded stakes on the card, During won the Jerome Handicap, Della Francesca took the Belmont Breeders' Cup Handicap and Bauhauser won the Floral Park Handicap.


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