02/12/2008 1:00AM

Perfect Vow steps back two ways


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Perfect Vow will be making a couple of significant moves on Thursday when he starts in a $40,000 optional claimer with second-level allowance conditions that serves as Oaklawn Park's feature.

For one, he will be turning back to six furlongs, the distance at which he earned his career's best Beyer Speed Figure.

Perfect Vow also will be dropping in class from an open-company allowance won by Spotsgone, who since meeting Perfect Vow has won the $100,000 Essex Handicap at Oaklawn.

Perfect Vow's career-high Beyer Figure of 92 was earned Nov. 2 at Aqueduct, when he cleared his first-level allowance condition with a last-to-first win in a $35,000 optional claimer. He covered the six furlongs in a sharp 1:09.40. Since then, Perfect Vow has run sixth in two subsequent starts, the first a $50,000 one-mile optional claimer at Aqueduct in December. The other start came in the allowance here on Jan. 20 at a mile and 70 yards.

"We were kind of thinking Essex with him, and that's why we ran him," Dan Peitz, who trains Perfect Vow, said of stepping up in class for the allowance start. "I said, 'These are the kind of horses we're going to run against in the Essex.' That was the whole idea.

"Now, we're going back to running him with his friends."

Most of the eight rivals Perfect Vow will meet Thursday are eligible for the second-level allowance condition. Peitz is encouraged by how his charge has trained for the race. Perfect Vow worked a half-mile in 49.80 seconds Feb. 2, then went the same distance in a bullet 46.60 in his final prep Feb. 8.

"Both of his works since the last race, he's finished through the lane like a good horse does finish," Peitz said. "Now, he just has to do it in the afternoon."

Perfect Vow will break from post 4 under Tim Doocy.

"I guess the biggest concern would be, is there going to be enough pace in the race?" said Peitz. "I figure they'll outrun him the first part going short, and I think if he runs back to his Nov. 2 race, he wins.

"If he doesn't, if he runs back to either of his last two races, I'm going to be very disappointed. Obviously, he's worked good since."

Perfect Vow, who won his maiden at 1 1/16 miles last year at Oaklawn, is a 4-year-old by Broken Vow. He races for Robert and Lawana Low. His chief rival could be Gone Missing, who closed from eighth to finish second at this level in his last start at Oaklawn on

Jan. 27.

* There is a pick-six carryover of $27,531.