02/23/2012 4:51PM

Gulfstream: Perfect Shirl returning in The Very One

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Barbara D. Livingston
Perfect Shirl, with John Velazquez up, wins the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at 27-1.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – With the elation of her Breeders’ Cup victory and disappointment of her aborted trip to Argentina now in the rearview mirror, Perfect Shirl will finally begin her 2012 campaign when she takes on a full field of long-distance, filly and mare turf specialists in Saturday’s $100,000 The Very One at Gulfstream Park.

Perfect Shirl has not started since pulling off a 27-1 shocker in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf. That was the only victory of the season for Perfect Shirl, a daughter of Perfect Soul who was graded stakes placed on two other occasions in 2011. She was scheduled to conclude the campaign in the Group 1 Gran Premio Internacional Pelligrini in Argentina but never made the trip because of a series of canceled flights.

[MORE: PPs and video previews for the Saturday card at Gulfstream Park]

Trainer Roger Attfield has prepared Perfect Shirl for her return at his regular winter base at Payson Park, where she has had four recorded workouts over the past month, including a five-furlong bullet drill in 59.20 seconds over the turf on Feb. 14.

“After the trip to Argentina was canceled, we just backed off her for a while with the intention of going to Dubai this spring,” said Attfield, who is using The Very One as a prep for the Dubai Sheema Classic on March 31.

Perfect Shirl will have to be at her best to launch her comeback on a winning note. The Very One is loaded with talent, led by Casablanca Smile, defending champion Keertana, Hasay and the Italian bred Good Karma.

Casablanca Smile has not started since leading throughout to win Calder’s Grade 3 La Prevoyante Handicap on Dec. 2. The outing was her first since she finished second in the same race 11 months earlier.

“I had to back off her after the first of the two La Prevoyantes, because she had some issues in behind, then she came down with a bad abscess when we tried to bring her back,” said Shug McGaughey who trains Casablanca Smile for Green Hills Farm Inc. “She had a spectacular breeze earlier this week at Payson, and I expect her to run very well on Saturday.”

Keertana, a homebred owned by Barbara Hunter and trained by Tom Proctor, stalked an extremely slow pace before forging to a half-length victory over just four rivals in the 2011 The Very One. She posted two more Grade 3 wins later that spring, including a victory over males in Churchill Downs’ Louisville Handicap before going to the sidelines for more than eight months. She finally returned to action on Feb. 4, finishing third going 1 1/16 miles in Tampa Bay Downs’ Grade 3 Endeavour.

Hasay makes her first start since finishing fourth after challenging for command around the final turn in Aqueduct’s Grade 3 Long Island Handicap on Nov. 12. An English-bred mare, she was listed stakes placed on multiple occasions in Europe at 3.

Good Karma was Group 3-placed in her native Italy before being shipped from trainer Nicolas Clement to his brother Christophe during the latter half of her 3-year-old campaign. Good Karma has run just once in this country, finishing third after leading to midstretch in an overnight stakes in New York on Nov 6.

Very One S. (G3), Post Time: 4:45 ET Saturday

Purse: $100,000; 1 3/8 miles (T)

Post

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

ML Odds

1

Here To Win (BRZ)

K. McLaughlin

J. Bravo

12-1

1

Hasay (GB)

G. Motion

R. Dominguez

8-1

1

Woodfored Belle

M. Nihei

J. Castanon

15-1

1

Perfect Shirl

R. Attfield

J. Velazquez

3-1

1

Casablanca Smile (CHI)

C. McGaughey III

K. Desormeaux

5-1

1

Keertana

T. Proctor

J. Lezcano

4-1

1

Clarinet

H. Motion

J. Leparoux

20-1

1

Good Karma (ITY)

C. Clement

R. Maragh

15-1

1

Shimmering Moment (GB)

F. Abbott III

J. Rocco, Jr.

8-1

1

Middle Club (GB)

C. Clement

P. Lopez

15-1

1

Font

B. Tagg

A. Solis

15-1

1

Aquitane

M. Matz

L. Contreras

15-1

1

Full Moon Party

M. Frazier

E. Wilson

30-1

1

Dash Dot Dash (MTO)

M. Wolfson

E. Trujillo

4-1