09/29/2003 11:00PM

Perfect Soul puts in final work for Shadwell


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Perfect Soul is ready to roll.

Perfect Soul, coming off a closing third-place finish in the Atto Mile at Woodbine on Sept. 14, worked four furlongs in 49.40 seconds on a yielding training track turf course Tuesday in preparation for the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile, the Grade 1 feature at Keeneland Saturday.

With exercise rider Paul O'Sullivan in the irons and trainer Roger Attfield keeping a close eye on the work, Perfect Soul was clocked in fractions of 12.20, 24.60, and 37.40, and galloped out five furlongs in 1:06.60.

"I thought he'd go in around 51," said Attfield. "He just does what he wants, on his own. I just wanted him to stretch his legs and open his pipes a little bit."

Perfect Soul is 1 for 1 at Keeneland, winning his 2003 debut convincingly in a third-level allowance at 1 1/8 miles on the turf this spring.

Edgar Prado, who rode Perfect Soul that day and in his second-place finish in Pimlico's 1 1/8-mile Dixie next time out, will return to the saddle after a four-race hiatus.

Attfield and owner-breeder Charles Fipke are hoping Perfect Soul uses the Shadwell Mile as a stepping-stone to his long-term goal of the Breeders' Cup Mile, which will be run Oct. 25 at Santa Anita.

"He has to run a solid race, which he's been doing all year," said Attfield.

Parose: Better than ever - at age 9?

Sandy McPherson's thinks Parose, who is slated to compete here in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Durham Cup Handicap, is better than ever at age 9.

"He's one of the few horses who has stayed as good as he ever was, in all respects," said McPherson, who claimed Parose for $62,500 at Woodbine on Dec. 2, 2001, and is familiar with the gelding's earlier days in Western Canada.

"That makes him an anomaly. Usually, the older they get the cheaper they get. He's held his value," McPherson said.

The value is considerable, as Parose won two stakes and $283,790 en route to becoming a Sovereign Award finalist in his division last year.

But it appeared that age finally might have caught up with him, as he began his current campaign disappointingly.

"This winter at Gulfstream, both times he ran, he didn't run well and he didn't eat for a week after," said McPherson. "He's never done that before, and he's never done it after.

"I don't have a clue why. All I can guess is he may have been harboring a virus, so I gave him some time off."

Parose has returned with a vengeance this summer, winning a pair of races and finishing second in three starts at Woodbine. His only unproductive start was in a difficult classified allowance race at Saratoga.

"There was nothing for him here, and I like to run him about once a month," said McPherson of the Saratoga trip. "If that race hadn't gone, we would have been in for $65,000. We're not afraid to run him for claiming. He's 9 years old; nobody seems to want him."

Indeed, Parose made his first two starts at this meeting for claiming prices of $75,000 and $90,000, earning a lifetime-best Beyer Speed Figure of 102 in the second of those two 1 1/16-mile races.

In his last start, a prep for the 1 1/8 mile-Durham Cup here on Sept. 14, Parose rallied off a slow pace to win by a length. That effort earned a Beyer Figure of 100, which equaled the second-highest Beyer of his 81-race career.

"You'd have to think a horse with his style, a fast pace would be better," said McPherson, "but a slow pace doesn't seem to bother him too much. He just galloped up to them, and ran by them. Visually, he was very impressive."

Greattobeloved tries for five wins in a row

Greattobeloved, also trained by McPherson, seeks her fifth consecutive win Thursday at Woodbine, in an $80,000 optional claimer for fillies and mares.

Greattobeloved's streak began in a June 28 maiden special race and continued in an $80,000 claimer on July 17. She struck again with an ideal stalking trip in an Aug. 6 entry-level allowance, and is coming off a daylight victory at the second allowance category, for which she earned a career-high 91 Beyer.

Greattobeloved returns from a five-week rest Thursday, and should be favored. Regular rider Simon Husbands will be aboard.

"She's a real nice filly," said McPherson, "but she's been plagued with quarter cracks - she's had four of them. She had some time after her last race, and missed some time because of it."

Thursday's race will be Greattobeloved's prep for the $150,000 Jammed Lovely, a seven-furlong race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies on Nov. 2.

The more standard Jammed Lovely prep will be run two weeks before the stakes, but McPherson wants Greattobeloved to have the extra time in case some maintenance is required.

"This way, if she cracks again, we'll have a chance to have it repaired and have her ready [for the Jammed Lovely]," he said.

Rounding out the field for Thursday's six-furlong sprint are Secret Rush, Misty Expectation, Marisa Go, and Whistling Maid.

Misty Expectation, a consistent 4-year-old trained by Vito Armata, will gain support with leading rider Todd Kabel aboard. She hasn't missed the board in seven starts this year, and was recently second in a 6 1/2-furlong race at this level.

Secret Rush was eased on Aug. 9 in her first attempt off a $40,000 claim, but has worked quickly since and is going back on Lasix. Sherrie Lee Hawley trains her.

- additional reporting by Ron Gierkink