Updated on 09/17/2011 12:00PM

Perfect Drift wins by 5

Benoit & Associates
Perfect Drift solidifies his status as one of this country's top handicap horses with an impressive five-length victory in the Grade 2 $400,000 Washington Park Handicap on Saturday at Arlington Park.

Perfect Drift continued his ascent within the North American handicap ranks when he easily defeated four rivals Saturday in the Grade 2, $400,000 at Arlington Park.

With jockey Pat Day never asking the 4-year-old gelding for his best, Perfect Drift was ridden out to a five-length victory in the 1 3/16-mile race over the longest shot in the field, Aeneas (31-1). Perfect Drift returned $3.20 as a huge favorite after finishing in 1:55.49 over a fast main track. The 5-1 exacta paid $34.60.

Flatter finished another 1 1/4 lengths back in third, followed by Iron Deputy and Phantom Light.

Perfect Drift now will switch to turf for the annual highlight of the Arlington meet, the Aug. 16 Arlington Million at 1 1/4 miles.

"The Arlington Million has been one of our goals," said trainer Murray Johnson. "We've gotten here, and [with] one more month of training, we should be there."

Perfect Drift became a major player in the handicap ranks when he defeated Mineshaft in his last start, the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap on June 14. Bred and owned by Dr. William Reed of Kansas City, Mo., Perfect Drift, by Dynaformer, has now earned nearly $1.55 million from 14 career starts.