Trainer Bob Baffert's efforts to replicate a 2016 schedule with Drefong that saw the son of Gio Ponti secure victory in last year's TwinSpires Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) appears to be on schedule after the 4-year-old blazed a half-mile Oct. 9 at Santa Anita Park.
A year ago Drefong won the Ketel One King's Bishop Stakes (G1) Aug. 27 at Saratoga Race Course and then did not race again until the Breeders' Cup World Championships, where he won the Sprint by 1 1/4 lengths off that 10-week rest. This year Drefong won the Forego Stakes (G1) Aug. 26 at Saratoga and will again enter the Sprint off 10 weeks rest.
On Monday Baoma Corporation's colt worked four furlongs in :47 2/5, the second-fastest move of 58 at the distance. Since Sept. 19 Drefong has delivered four works, going a half-mile each time at Santa Anita. Monday marked the fastest effort of those four moves.
Guided by rider Martin Garcia, Drefong went in company with Show Me Da Lute, who was timed in :47 4/5.
Monday morning at Santa Anita also had Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) contender Gun Runner deliver an easy five-furlong move.
Trainer Steve Asmussen plans to start Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm's colt in the Classic off a nine-week break. On Monday the 4-year-old son of Candy Ride completed five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 in his fourth work since winning the Woodward Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) Sept. 2 at Saratoga.
"He had good rhythm, looked good, and felt good coming off the race track," said Scott Blasi, assistant to Asmussen. "He'll do more next week."
That Woodward win gave Gun Runner three straight grade 1 victories after his scores in the Whitney Stakes and Stephen Foster Handicap.
Also going to the track for Baffert Monday was 3-year-old filly Abel Tasman. The three-time grade 1 winner completed a half-mile in :48 3/5. Plans call for China Horse Club and Clearsky Farms' filly to enter the Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1), her first start against older females, off a runner-up finish in the Cotillion Stakes (G1) Sept. 23 at Parx Racing.