Friday, November 04, 2011
Perfect Shirl came up with her best race of the year to deliver a stirring come-from-behind victory for her owner/breeder Charles Fipke in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) at Churchill Downs.
Perfect Shirl, a 4-year-old daughter of Darby Dan stallion Perfect Soul, was stuck near the back of the 11 horse field in the early stages of the 1 3/8 mile marathon. Still, the field was fairly compact because of the slow pace of 1:16.90 for the six furlongs. Perfect Shirl was five wide coming into the straightaway and outran Nahrain in the final furlong to win by three-quarters of a length in 2:18.62.
Roger Attfield, who won his first Breeders' Cup race, trains Perfect Shirl for owner Fipke. Attfield was worried about the condition about the Churchill turf course due to considerable rainfall the day before the race, but was obviously pleased with the outcome.
Perfect Shirl had not won since July 2010, when she captured the Lake George Stakes (gr. IIT) at Saratoga. She ran second, beaten a neck, in her previous start, the Grade 2 Canadian S. at Woodbine on Sept. 18. Her record now stands at 4-2-5 in 15 starts with a bankroll of $1,390,729.