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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Filly & Mare Turf: Perfect Shirl


Photo by Reed Palmer Photography/Churchill Downs


8 Perfect Shirl 57.60 18.60 11.60
5 Nahrain (GB)   5.00 3.80
12 Misty for Me (IRE)     5.20
10 Distorted Legacy      

$2 Exacta: $324.00
$2 Trifecta: $3,002.40
$2 Superfecta: $43,429.00

Time: 2:18.62

Winning Owner: Charles E. Fipke
Winning Breeder: Charles E. Fipke
Winning Trainer: Roger Attfield
Winning Jockey: John Velazquez

Equibase chart

Roger Attfield (trainer, Perfect Shirl, 1st) – “I’m ecstatic. I had my doubts about running her. I was very concerned because she’s never been able to handle a soft course.  Once I saw how she was moving down the backside, I could see she was moving beautifully and I became very excited.”

John Velazquez (jockey, Perfect Shirl, 1st) – “She was aggressive early, but when we went by the wire the first time she settled right down. From there on out I had a perfect trip. Roger (trainer Attfield) didn’t give me any instructions. He said he just wanted me to save her for the end. We wanted to save something for the finish. It worked out just like we’d hoped.”

Roger Varian (trainer, Nahrain, 2nd) – “I’m really proud of her.  She ran a really great race. I thought we had it off the bend.”

Frankie Dettori (jockey, Nahrain, 2nd) – “There’s nothing more I can say. She ran an absolutely fantastic race.  Last night, when I dreamt about it, I won. I had the perfect trip. She was covered up, got clear at the quarter pole and kicked on. I have no complaints.”

Aidan O’Brien (trainer, Misty For Me, 3rd) – “She ran very well.  She ran a very good race.  She just stumbled coming out of the stall. She hates being in behind (horses.)”

Ryan Moore (jockey, Misty For Me, 3rd) – “The ground knuckled out from under her (at the break). She was having a little trouble handling the course and did not really start running until she got into the stretch.”

Rajiv Maragh (jockey, Distorted Legacy, 4th) – “We were going at a nice pace. I was in a comfortable spot all the way. I just waited for the stretch to make a strong run, and she did.”

Chad Brown (trainer, Stacelita, beaten favorite, 10th) – “I can’t really say much because I haven’t seen the replay.  All I know is that Ramon (jockey Dominguez) said he had horse and then he didn’t.”

Ramon Dominguez (jockey, Stacelita, beaten favorite, 10th) – “Around the 3/8-pole I was very happy because she was still taking it in. I was inside, then angled towards the outside, looking for room, but (when I found room) there was nothing there. The fractions were slow and everybody was under a hold. I was happy with the way she was handling herself. Turning for home she just didn't have the response I was looking for. She just didn't find her best stride today. I can't say it was the course.”


THE MODERATOR:  We're now joined by the winning trainer and owner of Perfect Shirl, winner of the Emirates Airlines Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.  John Velazquez, a man in high demand, riding every Breeders' Cup race today.  He's out there for the Ladies Classic.  We are joined now on my left by trainer Roger Attfield, who's celebrating his first Breeders' Cup victory as a trainer, and to our right is owner Charles Fipke.  He's also celebrating his first Breeders' Cup win.

            Gentlemen, congratulations.  Your horse lit up the tote board there at 27‑1.  I know, Roger, from hearing on TV that the condition of the turf course was something of a concern, and, in fact, you had scratched out of the E.P. Taylor, or passed that race, due to soft turf.  Other than the fact it was the Breeders' Cup today, were you less than confident going in?

            ROGER ATTFIELD:  I was very worried about the turf actually.  The E.P. Taylor was much softer than this turf is, but I was still worried about the going.  You know, when she's running on good yielding turf before, she's never really ‑‑ she has never really traveled very well.  So I was concerned because I wanted her to run her best race.  I knew she was sitting on a big race.  On firm turf, I knew she was going to give me that.

            I was very worried about the turf course.  As soon as I saw her come down the lane the first time there, she was traveling so well.  I thought, oh, my God, now we've got a chance to show what we've got.  It all turned out well.

            THE MODERATOR:  And, Mr. Fipke, I imagine this victory is doubly sweet, as being not just the owner but the breeder, homebred, winning such a prestigious race.  Can you comment on the dual victory, so to speak?

            CHARLES FIPKE:  Well, I have to say that she's from very good stock.  She's from Perfect Soul, who is by Sadler's Wells, a Secretariat mare.  And she's by Lady Cheryl who is not only a Group 1 winner, she had been a Group 1 producer of a previous Breeders' Cup winner, and now it's her second Breeders' Cup winner that she's produced.  The horse really did it, but also the jockey.  I mean, he's just wonderful, and Roger is wonderful.  It's a whole team effort.  It's not anybody.

            You know, when it comes down to it, it's the heart of the horse, and that horse really has a lot of heart.  That's all I can really say.  It's just wonderful to be associated with such a beautiful horse and such beautiful people.  Thank you.           

THE MODERATOR:  We'd like to alert the media we will be joined in a short while by Corey Nakatani, who rode My Miss Aurelia.  Right now questions for Roger Attfield and Charles Fipke here.


            Q.   Mr. Attfield, the horse and everyone agreed had showed good form at the end of her third year.  This year was maybe a bit mixed up and didn't have a chance to show her best.  What gave you the confidence to even enter a race like this?  I know the Canadian was pretty good, but she did figure to be meeting some of the better fillies in the world.

            ROGER ATTFIELD:  She's been progressing all the way through this year and getting better and better.  Her racing at the Maiden actually was a pretty good race.  Had she been able to get out a little bit earlier than she did, I think she would have won that race.  The filly that beat her came down to Keeneland and won the race there.

            So it was a strong form, and the filly is getting better and better all the time.  Like I say, I said, if the turf course is firm, she's going to run really, really well for me.  I was wrong about the going, and she handled it, and she did very well.  She's a filly that's been gradually getting better and better all year.  I said two months ago this is going to be a hell of a filly next year, and I really believe she will be too.


            Q.   Just got a question about the jockey.  Just looking, this is the seventh different jockey to ride her in the last seven starts.  Could you explain your jockey selection, please?

            ROGER ATTFIELD:  Well, I ride Johnny any time I can get him, to be honest with you, because we have a great record together.  There's not been any real reason for jockey changes.  It hasn't been a planned situation.  It's been a situation where agents have said, well, I can't ride her, and I've had to find another rider.  I haven't been swapping and changing jockeys.

            But I was very, very pleased when Johnny said he could ride the filly.  Like I say, we have a great rapport and a good record together.  That's what's happened there.


            Q.   Can you tell us about the bandage on your hand.

            ROGER ATTFIELD:  Oh, I just had a little surgery on my hand five days ago.  Nothing major.  Still able to saddle her.

            THE MODERATOR:  Roger, congratulations.  We regard you as the Godfather and the King.  You've had a great career.  Eight Queen's, three Triple Crowns and now you get a winner with John Velazquez.  Just talk about how special it is to get this race.

            ROGER ATTFIELD:  It's very special.  The Breeders' is special any time.  In this situation, I've run in quite a few of them.  I've had a couple of seconds and thirds and fourths and never been able to win.  You keep saying to yourself, God, am I ever going to get this done?  So God bless the filly.  She came through for me and finally got it done.


            Q.   You scratched at E.P. Taylor, that must have caused a disruption in your plans in terms of having a longer lay‑up for the filly if that became a concern.

            ROGER ATTFIELD:  No, it wasn't a concern at all.  She's a very light filly.  She's quite a small filly.  She's a light framed filly, dead fit.  The E.P. Taylor definitely wouldn't have suited her.  It was very, very, very soft.  I really, really wanted to come to the Breeders' with the filly, and Chuck definitely wanted to come with the filly.  Had I run her in the E.P. Taylor, I don't think I'd have been able to come to the Breeders'.

            It was probable advantageous to her because she doesn't need a lot of hard training.  She's just a small light filly who gives everything she's got when she goes out there.  It's probably a blessing in disguise that we didn't go in that race.

            THE MODERATOR:  Well, it certainly worked out well for you today.  Roger Attfield, Charles Fipke, congratulations to each of you on your first Breeders' Cup winner.  An exciting one it was with Perfect Shirl.  Congratulations to both of you.

            FastScripts by ASAP Sports


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