Jockey Javier Castellano timed it just right as Perfect Officer rallied from mid-pack and nabbed long-time leader Great Mills at the wire in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Shakertown at Keeneland over 5 1/2 furlongs on the firm turf. Perfect Officer, the 3-1 second choice in a field of 10, set a new course record of 1:01 2/5 for Virginia owner David A. Ross.
|PERFECT OFFICER (outside) (Garry Jones/AP Photo)|
Shortening stride through the stretch after setting splits of :21 3/5 and :44 1/5, Great Mills was up three lengths one furlong out but just failed to hold in a strong performance. It was three lengths back to 18-1 chance Zeb, who held off 5-2 favorite Havelock by a half-length for third.
Completing the order of finish were Surfrider, Great Attack, Chamberlain Bridge, Unsaddled Glory, Byesville, and Concorde's Flight.
Perfect Officer won the Solomon Northup at Saratoga in 2009, but eventually was lost via the claim box for $50,000 in March 2011 to Ross. He immediately excelled for trainer Michael Pino, winning the Dream Big at Atlantic City and Wolf Hill at Monmouth Park, and placing in the Grade 3 Turf Monster Handicap, Grade 3 Woodford and Grade 2 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.
The Shakertown marked his 2012 debut, as well as his first start for trainer Tony Dutrow.
His career record now stands at 28-8-3-5, $615,531.