Drefong Another Fast Start for Chu Family

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Drefong | Benoit

By Jessica Martini

When Susan Chu got into horse racing just three years ago, she had almost instantaneous success. The first horse to don the colors of her Tanma Corporation was Super Ninety Nine (Pulpit), winner of the 2013 GIII Southwest S. and third in that year’s GI Santa Anita Derby. That success was quickly followed the next year by Chitu (Henny Hughes), who won the GIII Sunland Derby before finishing ninth in the GI Kentucky Derby.

The family looks to have another star in the making after Drefong’s ‘TDN Rising Star’ performance at Del Mar Saturday, but this colt runs in the name of Chu’s husband Charlie’s Baoma Corporation.

“When Charlie started to watch our horses racing, watching Super Ninety Nine and Chitu, he was so impressed,” Susan Chu explained Sunday. “He decided to get involved. He very much enjoys the horses–Drefong is his first horse.”

In addition to Drefong, Charlie Chu’s three-horse racing stable also includes the unraced Valiant Minister (Candy Ride {Arg}), who topped the OBS June sale at $680,000, and Swift Lady (Awesome of Course), a $170,000 OBS June purchase who finished second on debut at Del Mar Sept. 7.

The Chus, with the help of bloodstock agent Donato Lanni and trainer Bob Baffert, purchased Drefong for $450,000 at last year’s Keeneland September sale.

“We were very confident about him,” Chu, whose Tanma Corp. specializes in investing in Olympic-level show jumpers, said. “Donato Lanni and Bob Baffert helped me pick out this horse. We love him–especially my husband Charlie.”

Charlie Chu is based mainly in Asia, where he has a company which manufactures GPS navigation systems and his love of Drefong has led him to log plenty of frequent flyer miles recently.

“You wouldn’t believe how many times he flies from Hong Kong, especially to see this horse. He flies more than 20 hours from Hong Kong just to go look at him,” Susan Chu said of her husband. “He was so happy to enjoy the baby and watch him grow up and then to have it work out so nicely. He flies so many hours, but he so enjoys it.”

The family missed Drefong’s maiden win Saturday, but are already planning for the colt’s next start.

“Charlie was busy in China, but he called me to tell me he was going to the next race for sure,” said Chu, who also missed the race. “I watched it on tv,” she said. “And then everyone called in and we felt so great.”

As for where Drefong will start next, Chu added, “We’ll just let Bob make the decision.”

As happy as Chu is for her husband’s early success in racing, she admitted with a chuckle, “We have a little competition.” To date, it’s Tanma Corp: two graded stakes winners, Baoma Corp: none, but Charlie Chu told his wife to expect company.

“He told me [his graded win] will come very soon,” she laughed.

9th-DMR, $53,500, Msw, 11-14, 2yo, 6f, 1:09.17, ft.

DREFONG, c, 2, by Gio Ponti

1st Dam: Eltimaas, by Ghostzapper

2nd Dam: Najecam, by Trempolino

3rd Dam: Sue Warner, by *Forli

 

Click for the Equibase.com chart, VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton or the Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.

O-Baoma Corporation; B-Frederick M Allor, Michael T Barnett, Anthony M Warrender (KY); T-Bob Baffert.

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