09/21/2008 11:00PM

Perfect Drift retired at age 9


ARCADIA, Calif. - Perfect Drift, the winner of more than $4.7 million in a career that included a third-place finish in the 2002 Kentucky Derby, has been retired, trainer Richard Mandella said on Sunday.

Perfect Drift finished third in the final start of his career, the Windy Sands Handicap at Del Mar on Sept. 1.

Mandella said that discussions with owner William Reed led to the decision to retire Perfect Drift after 11 wins in 50 starts and earnings of $4,714,213. Perfect Drift was winless in four starts this year. The Windy Sands was the only time that he finished in the first three. He was fourth in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile and eighth in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup earlier this year.

"We could not quite get him to the level that we wanted," Mandella said. "We were thinking of taking one more shot. We thought it over and that’s generally the time you should stop. He’s in good shape."

Perfect Drift, a 9-year-old gelding, was trained for much of his career by Kentucky-based trainer Murray Johnson. For Johnson, Perfect Drift won such stakes as the 2003 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs and the 2005 Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park.