11/08/2006 1:00AM

Minor illness ends Perfect Drift's year


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Perfect Drift, the venerable gelding who finished eighth when racing in the Breeders' Cup Classic for a record fifth straight time, was found afterward to have been hindered by a minor breathing ailment known as costochondritis and is through racing for the year.

The disappointing finish means Perfect Drift will end 2006 with no wins from seven starts, although the 7-year-old gelding did earn $370,293 during what trainer Murray Johnson called "a great year, a lot of fun, although it wasn't our best year. I don't see any reason why we won't be back next year to try it again."

Perfect Drift, an earner of more than $4.6 million, will be turned out, as usual, at his birthplace, Stonecrest Farm in Kansas City, Mo., before returning to training late in the winter at the Trackside training center in Louisville.

Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage that attaches the front of the ribs to the breastbone.

Perfect Drift was one of many Kentucky-based horses to have competed in the Breeders' Cup last Saturday at Churchill Downs. As for some of the others:

* Trainer Patrick Biancone said Gorella (7th, Mile), Asi Siempre (4th, Distaff), and Mauralakana (8th, Filly and Mare Turf) all are in good shape and will race next year, but Her Majesty (13th, Juvenile Fillies) sustained a lacerated hock and will be off a few months.

* Owner Ken Ramsey is seriously considering the Grade 1 Cigar Mile on Nov. 25 at Aqueduct for Badge of Silver (3rd, Mile). Exercise rider Jose Cuevas said the horse "did very, very good" when returning to the track for the first time Wednesday at Churchill.

* Trainer Dallas Stewart said Lemons Forever (5th, Distaff) and Silverfoot (9th, Turf) "both came out of the races in good shape. They're both going to get time off, and they'll both run next year."

* Trainer Tom Amoss said Baghdaria (7th, Distaff) and Rush Bay (4th, Turf) both will be "getting time off on the farm" before returning to training at Oaklawn Park and the Fair Grounds, respectively.

* Trainer Eddie Kenneally said Bushfire (11th, Distaff) would be turned out on a farm before returning for a 4-year-old campaign, while Kelly's Landing (10th, Sprint) will "get a little break" before returning to action this winter at Gulfstream Park.

* Trainer Tony Reinstedler said he will seriously consider the Nov. 25 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes for U D Ghetto (7th, Juvenile). "I was very happy with his effort, and he came out of it great," he said.

* Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Pegasus Wind (11th, Juvenile) will regroup and go to Oaklawn Park for the winter.

* Trainer Frank Brothers said Bel Air Beauty (8th, Juvenile Fillies) will head to Gulfstream for a 3-year-old campaign.

* Trainer Helen Pitts said Gatorize (12th, Juvenile Fillies) most likely will make her next start on grass "before the end of the year."

* Trainer Ralph Nicks said Lilly Carson (14th, Juvenile Fillies), by the noted sprint sire Carson City, "saw a second turn for the first and last time Saturday. You'll see her next in a never-won-two at Gulfstream in January."

Brilliant tops Commonwealth field

Brilliant heads a field of 11 3-year-olds entered in the $150,000 Commonwealth Turf, the Saturday feature at Churchill.

Robby Albarado has the mount back on Brilliant in the 1 1/16-mile Commonwealth. Trained by Neil Howard, Brilliant has 5 wins from 9 starts this year, including stakes wins in the Grade 2 Jefferson Cup at Churchill and the Grade 3 Kent BC at Delaware Park.

The remainder of the Commonwealth field consists of Yankee Master, Costa Rising, Outperformance, Hesanoldsalt, Kingship, Arbuckle Bandit, Storm Treasure, Sea of Trees, Amigoni, and Rock' N Fire.

Pick six pays $43,800

After four days of carryovers - not including Breeders' Cup Day, which is exempt - the pick six was hit Tuesday when four winning $2 tickets were sold, each returning $43,800.40.

The pick six would have carried over to Wednesday if Miner's Lamp, a 7-2 shot, had been able to hold off Funky Pirate (5-1) in the final race of the day, but Funky Pirate was up in the final jumps to prevail by a head.

* Tom Meeker, retired Churchill Downs president and chief executive officer, will be honored with the Warner L. Jones Jr. horseman of the year by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners at the organization's annual awards dinner Saturday night at the Kentucky Derby Museum. Tickets are $100 and are available by calling (502) 458-5820.