Updated on 09/16/2011 8:24AM

Perfect Drift sharp in comeback

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Jim Linscott
Perfect Drift holds off Easyfromthegitgo to win Saturday night's Grade 3, $414,700 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park.

ANDERSON, Ind. - Perfect Drift shook off the effects of a four-month layoff Saturday night to narrowly top a field of 12 in the Grade 3, $414,700 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park.

Wiseman's Ferry and City Sharpster hooked up on the early pace of the mile and a sixteenth test as Perfect Drift and Jon Court were content to watch the race unfold from the middle of the field. As City Sharpster began to fade, Court edged Perfect Drift out going to the far turn and made his run at Wiseman's Ferry nearing the stretch.

Turning for home Perfect Drift, who was making his first start since the Belmont Stakes, had clear sailing while Easyfromthegito, under Donnie Meche, was rolling past runners from along the inside. Perfect Drift opened a one and a half length lead nearing the furlong marker with Easyfromthegitgo close behind. Court went to a strong right-handed whip and held Easyfromthegito safe by a diminishing three quarters of a length while covering the distance in 1:43.50 over a track rated fast.

Premeditation and rider Curt Bourque, sent off at 46-1, rallied outside in the stretch to earn third, another one and a quarter lengths back. Wiseman's Ferry, sent off a narrow favorite over Joey Franco at 5-2, faded to fourth after yieldinig to the winner late on the turn.

Perfect Drift, who in an equipment change was racing with blinkers, was sent off the 7-2 third choice and returned $9 for trainer Murray Johnson. He teamed with Easyfromthegitgo for a 3-5 exacta worth $43.60 while the 3-5-2 trifecta returned $1,006.20.

In winning for the first time since last spring's Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park, Perfect Drift improved his record to 4-3-1 from 9 starts and increased his earnings to more than $700,000.

* Also on Saturday's 11-race card, Pemaquid Point overcame the outside post to capture the $43,750 Fort Wayne Stakes for 3-year-old Indiana-breds by one and three-quarter lengths under Dean Butler.

* In the $34,300 Hillsdale Stakes for 2-year-olds, Go Doctor Mo posted a $32.40 upset in his debut against winners.