Whitmore wins the Forego (c) NYRA/Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography

Robert LaPenta et al’s WHITMORE was overlooked some in the $600,000 Forego Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on Saturday when going off at more than 8-1 odds. However, the classy gelding didn’t know his price when surging through an opening inside at the top of the lane and powering home to a commanding, 1 1/2-length score under jockey Ricardo Santana Jr.

The Ron Moquett trainee finished seven furlongs over the fast main oval in a swift 1:21.46 to earn his first Grade 1 tally. The Kentucky-bred also punched his ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Churchill Downs this fall, as the Forego is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge series.

Whitmore always flashed talent, but has really elevated his game since becoming a one-turn specialist. The five-year-old son of Pleasantly Perfect had been knocking on the door of late when runner-up in both the True North (G2) and Belmont Sprint Championship (G2), and made good today in his first foray to Saratoga.

Whitmore now boasts a 22-11-5-2 lifetime line with earnings of $1,991,000.

Bred by John Liviakis, Whitmore is out of the unraced Scat Daddy mare Melody’s Spirit. He has a two-year-old half-sister by Atreides as well as an unnamed weanling half-brother by Liam’s Map.

Moquett mentioned that Keeneland’s October 6 Phoenix Stakes (G2), a race Whitmore won last year by a nose, could be the next target for his charge.