06/16/2011 3:11PM

Stockton: Perfect Curls starts comeback in Pink Ribbon


STOCKTON, Calif. – Veteran trainer Cliff Delima hopes his patience pays off Saturday, when he brings Perfect Curls back to the races in the $50,000 Pink Ribbon at the San Joaquin Fair.

A six-furlong stakes, the Pink Ribbon has a field of seven 3-year-old fillies.

Perfect Curls was the top 2-year-old filly on the fair circuit last year, winning the Juan Gonzalez at Pleasanton and Wine Country Debutante at Santa Rosa, but she suffered a cracked shin when running fifth as the favorite in the Generous Portion at Del Mar last Sept. 1. Saturday will mark her first start since then.

Delima has given Perfect Curls 11 works in preparation for her comeback. She was simply stretching her legs in a 36.40 work Wednesday, but before that she had a 1:13.80 gate drill, a 59.40 five-furlong bullet, and a 1:00.80 five-furlong drill.

“She’s working really well,” Delima said. “She’s back, and she’s ready.”

Delima said he was disappointed Perfect Curls drew the rail. She can stalk, and there should be plenty of speed to run at in her comeback, but an outside post would have lessened the chances for potential trouble.

“There aren’t too many spot to run her,” Delima said. “We’ll see how she does and go from there.”

Delima said he was hoping Russell Baze would ride his filly, but Baze will ride Special Holiday. Perfect Curls will be ridden by Abel Cedillo, who finished 10th in the Golden Gate Fields jockey standings with 43 wins from 206 mounts.

The speed in the race includes Dawnie Macho, who won the Landaluce last year and sat close in the May 1 Time To Leave before fading at Hollywood Park; Melissa Rose, coming off a game May 21 allowance win at Golden Gate Fields; and Special Holiday, whose two-race winning streak was snapped in a May 26 allowance win following a four-month freshener.

Alec’s Moon was defeated by Perfect Curls when Perfect Curls won her maiden, but she has won her last two starts on dirt tracks − the Portland Meadows Oaks and Portland Meadows Derby against males. She is 3 for 4 on dirt and comes off a pace-setting third in the Golden Poppy on the Golden Gate turf.

Unbridled Joule and recent maiden winner False Statement round out the field.