Drefong Digs Deep for Breeders’ Cup Sprint Win



Heading into Breeders’ Cup week, trainer Bob Baffert was loaded with talented sprinters and while much of the attention was on dual “Win and You’re In” qualifier Lord Nelson, the four-time Sprint-winning trainer quietly prepared Charlie and Susan Chu’s Drefong for the race of his life.

And run the race of his life he did, dueling with heavily favored Masochistic under jockey Martin Garcia for the entire six furlongs, through quick splits of :21.49, :44.03 and :55.98 before dismissing his speedy rival in deep stretch to win by 1 ¼ lengths, stopping the Teletimer in 1:08.79 on a fast track.

Mind Your Biscuits turned in a strong performance to finish third, a nose behind Masochistic at the wire, while 3 ¼ lengths ahead of A.P. Indian. Limousine Liberal, Delta Bluesman and Noholdingback Bear completed the order of finish after the scratches of Lord Nelson and Joking.

At odds of nearly 4-1, Drefong returned $9.80, $4.80 and $3.80. Masochistic, at 8-5, paid $4 and $2.80, while Mind Your Biscuits was worth $4.60 at more than 15-1. The exacta was good for $15 and the $.50 trifecta $56.15.

“We drew a great post down on the inside,” Garcia said. “My horse broke sharply and came out running. My horse likes to run on the lead and ran hard every step of the way.”

Drefong was bred in Kentucky by Allor, Barnett and Warrender and was purchased by his owners for $450,000 as a Keeneland September yearling two years ago. With the $825,000 share of the winner’s purse, he boosted his bankroll to $1,203,040 and his career line now stands at 6-5-0-0. He also won the King’s Bishop Stakes (GI) earlier this year in what was his first stakes appearance.

Drefong's connections

The connections of Drefong gather in the winner’s circle following the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

“What a racehorse,” Baffert said. “What a race. He’s been getting better and better, but we didn’t know how fast he was. He had trained so well coming into this race I thought he was peaking. When I saw him in the paddock I just knew he was going to get it done.”

Margaret Ransom
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at BRISnet.com, where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters: Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.

After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and HRTV.com in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager.

She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several racehorse retirement organizations, including CARMA.

In 2016, Margaret was the recipient of the prestigious Stanley Bergstein Writing Award, sponsored by Team Valor, and was an Eclipse Award honorable mention for her story, “The Shocking Untold Story of Maria Borell,” which appeared on USRacing.com. The article and subsequent stories helped save 43 abandoned and neglected Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and also helped create a new animal welfare law known as the “Borell Law.”

Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull and Arrogate as her favorite horses of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, two Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.

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