• 2017 Priority One Jets Forego Stakes
Breeders' Cup Challenge


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The Forego Stakes at Saratoga on Travers Day was reigning champion sprinter Drefong's second start of this year. Well, it was, and it wasn't.

His first race of 2017 came in the Bing Crosby at Del Mar in late July, but shortly after the gate opened, he made an abrupt left-hand turn and disengaged rider Mike Smith. Drefong galloped along with the field sans Smith, and fortunately emerged none the worse for the experience.

There was none of that in the Forego. The Breeders' Cup and Eclipse Award-winning sprinter showed his championship form, seizing the lead from the start and handily disposing of his rivals with a four-length score.

The victory secured Drefong a spot in the starting gate for the Breeders' Cup Sprint for the second year in a row, as the Forego is a “Win and You're In” qualifier.

"We just saw the real Drefong," said trainer Bob Baffert said by phone from Del Mar after the Forego. “You would have seen him last time if Mike Smith hadn’t fallen off. It’s a good thing that everything turned out alright because otherwise, I would have never brought him to the Forego.”

The lightly raced colt has lost just twice in eight lifetime trips to the gate, those being his first start as a 2-year-old and the Bing Crosby. After a maiden win and two allowance scores last year, Baffert shipped Drefong to Saratoga, where he exploded in the King's Bishop Stakes. He used that win as a springboard to capture the Breeders' Cup Sprint over older horses en route to earning the Eclipse as top sprinter.

Drefong is the first racehorse for Charlie Chu’s Baoma Corporation. Drefong, a Kentucky-bred from the first crop by Gio Ponti, was a $450,000 yearling purchase at Keeneland. Chu's wife, Susan, got involved as an owner only five years ago, and her first runner was 2013 Southwest Stakes winner Super Ninety-Nine. She also campaigned Chitu, who won the Sunland Derby, the following year.

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BC Challenge Races Won

  • 2017 Priority One Jets Forego Stakes

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