01/06/2011 5:00PM

2010 Eclipse Awards: Majesticperfection

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Tom Keyser

Majesticperfection was an unraced maiden when the 2010 season began. By the time his short but spectacular year came to a premature conclusion eight months later, the son of Harlan’s Holiday had become a Grade 1 winner and one of the three finalists for an Eclipse Award in the Sprint division.

Majesticperfection’s career debut on Jan. 24 at the Fair Grounds gave little indication of the special talents he would put on display during the remainder of his campaign. Running over a muddy track, Majesticperfection finished a well-beaten third after prompting the early pace, earning a mere 66 Beyer Speed Figure.

He would not lose again.

Wheeled back in just three weeks, Majesticperfection won his maiden at the Fair Grounds by 1 1/4 lengths in a race switched from the turf to the main track. It was just the beginning for the 4-year-old, bred by Ronald McPeek and Shane Floyd, owned by Satish Sanan’s Padua Stable, and trained by Steve Asmussen.

Majesticperfection then moved to Oaklawn Park for an entry-level allowance race on April 1, using his high speed to dominate the competition. Exploding through the stretch after setting a modest early pace, Majesticperfection drew off to a 10 3/4-length triumph while covering six furlongs in 1:08.60, a performance for which he received the first of his four consecutive triple-digit Beyer Figures.

The next stop was Churchill Downs, where Majesticperfection turned in a near carbon copy of his Oaklawn effort, winning his second-level allowance condition from gate to wire by four lengths after travelling six furlongs in 1:08.20.

But it was a trip to Iowa that first brought national attention to the well-traveled Majesticperfection, who won the Iowa Sprint Handicap by 4 3/4 lengths. Majesticperfection covered six furlongs that night in a dizzying 1:07.20, and his 117 Beyer was the best figure posted in the U.S. during 2010 at up to a mile.

It’s a far cry from an ungraded race in Iowa to Grade 1 company at Saratoga, but that was the jump Asmussen had mapped out next for Majesticperfection. He handled the huge class hike with little difficulty, once again using his high speed to run the competition off their feet, including no less an opponent than future Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Big Drama.

“We could all read how well he’d run in the other spots,” said Asmussen after the Vanderbilt. “But for him to bring it up against this level of competition puts him exactly where we want to be.”

Where Asmussen wanted to be at that time was on a path to the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint two months later. But those dreams came to a sudden end on the morning of Sept. 5 after Majesticperfection suffered a condylar fracture of his right cannon bone during a routine workout at Saratoga. Despite successful surgery, Sanan announced Majesticperfection’s retirement later that week.

“Devastating,” was Sanan’s reaction to Majesticperfection’s career-ending injury. “The Vanderbilt was a defining race for him. He showed what he could do at Saratoga.”

Majesticperfection will stand stud in 2011 at Airdrie Farm.

PAST PERFORMANCES: Majesticperfection's 2010 season PPs (PDF)

KEY RACE REPLAY: Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga >>