Updated on 09/16/2011 8:24AM

Pleasantly Perfect wins Goodwood

Email

ARCADIA, Calif. - Pleasantly Perfect may be peaking at an ideal time. On Sunday at Santa Anita, the 4-year-old Pleasantly Perfect won his first stakes in the $500,000 , a victory that served as a prep for the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Arlington Park on Oct. 26.

Pleasantly Perfect's victory was the first of two major stakes wins for trainer Richard Mandella on Sunday. In the race after the Goodwood, The Tin Man won the $300,000 Clement Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship.

Pleasantly Perfect rallied from eighth to win the Grade 2 Goodwood Handicap by a convincing 3 1-4 lengths over Momentum, the 9-10 favorite and 119-pound highweight. Pleasantly Perfect, who carried 115 pounds, finished 1 1-8 miles in 1:46.80, just missing Bertrando's 1994 stakes record of 1:46.72.

"He wasn't waiting around thinking about running, he went on and did it," Mandella said.

Ridden by Alex Solis, Pleasantly Perfect was well off the pace of 22.68 and 46.02 seconds set by Reba's Gold, the winner of the Pomona Invitational at Fairplex Park on Sept. 29. Pleasantly Perfect trailed by four lengths at the three-eighths pole and reached contentio with a three-wide move in early stretch.

Reba's Gold still led by a length at the eighth pole, but was caught by Pleasantly Perfect before the sixteenth pole.

Momentum rallied from fifth to finish a nose in front of Reba's Gold, who was followed by Like a Hero, Euchre, Grey Memo, Truly a Judge, Kela and Tapatio. The Goodwood was the third consecutive major stakes in which Momentum finished second, preceded by the Hollywood Gold Cup and Pacific Classic during the summer.

"I missed a week of training with a quarter crack and it showed today," trainer Craig Dollase said. Dollase said the injury occurred in September. Pleasantly Perfect has won 4 of 9 starts and $479,880 for Gerald Ford's Diamond A Racing Corp. A 4-year-old, he made his stakes debut with a fourth-place finish in the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 25. "He's a big healthy, hearty horse and I think racing is doing him good," Mandella said. "He's been working this way. You could really see it."