There was absolutely, positively no chance that Godolphin’s Frosted (Tapit) could run a race similar to what he did last time in an historic dismantling of the field in the GI Metropolitan H., winning the Belmont Day co-feature by a record 14 1/4-length margin while stopping the clock in a phenomenal 1:32.73, also a stakes record. Surely he would regress from the Ghostzapper-esque 123 Beyer Speed Figure he was awarded for his efforts, but even if he did, it would probably still be good enough to give Sheikh Mohammed’s operation its first victory in the Whitney, many reasoned. That Frosted crossed the line first came as no surprise to any observer. The same cannot be said for the manner in which it was accomplished, as he was sent to the lead turning up the backstretch and set a searching pace beneath Joel Rosario and never looked like losing. The lightly raced Comfort (Indian Charlie) split horses late to be second just ahead of Upstart (Flatter), who got the bob for third over second betting choice Effinex (Mineshaft). “He is right up at the top [horses I’ve trained],” proclaimed winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. “[2006 Whitney winner] Invasor (Arg) was the best, I’ll always say, but he is creeping up now and if he can go on and win the Breeders’ Cup or World Cup he’ll [Frosted] be right there with him or pass him.”
Leaving Them in the Cold…
Winner of the GI TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial S. last term and fourth to American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) in the GI Kentucky Derby, Frosted was runner-up in the GI Belmont S. and was upset at 3-4 by Texas Red (Afleet Alex) in this track’s GII Jim Dandy S. With Jose Lezcano deputizing for an injured Joel Rosario, Frosted was third behind Keen Ice (Curlin) and the Triple Crown winner after surprisingly playing the role of sacrificial lamb in the GI Travers S., was back on the beam with a two-length tally in the GII Pennsylvania Derby and closed the year with a seventh in the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Sent over to winter in Dubai with the G1 World Cup the objective, Frosted overwhelmed eight others in Round 2 of the G2 Maktoum Challenge over 1900 meters, but was ultimately no match for California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit) in the $10-million main event, finishing fifth. Favored at 23-10 in the Met, Frosted was quietly ridden behind moderate early fractions, but whipped around rivals four deep at the head of the lane and on to a landslide victory.
Most handicappers would have anticipated Noble Bird (Birdstone) to make the early lead and to do so relatively easily, but that was not the case, as Rosario hit the gas early and led under the wire, with the aggressively ridden Upstart sent along underneath the favorite to take up the running at the mile pole. Noble Bird was prominent while three wide, and it was at that point that Rosario asked Frosted for a bit more speed, and the duo was in front after a quarter in :23.11, extremely fast for the distance. Allowed to roll along from there, the next two furlongs were covered in :23.31 with no changes in the plot behind the front-runner, who was now under a tight hold as they approached the end of the backstretch.
Frosted was still traveling strongly after six panels in a demanding 1:09.65, and as Noble Bird dropped away, Effinex loomed a threat, while Upstart was busily ridden a couple of lengths further back. A bit wide off the final turn, Frosted had not been asked entering the final furlong, received only a few light taps of the whip in the final strides and easily held on to defeat Comfort.
“It wasn’t the plan to take the lead,” the winning conditioner confirmed. “We have a top rider and we let Joel [Rosario] kind of dictate what he wanted to do and figure it out when the gates opened. He thought he would be further back if they went fast and close if they weren’t going fast. He went fast and he was on the lead and I knew if he was there he would have plenty of horse. Everything worked out.”
Added Rosario, “I was cruising the whole way, he was very relaxed and I just tried to save something for the end. Sometimes he’s a little difficult and you have to let him do what he wants to do, but when I turned for home I knew he had something left because I know the way he likes to run. He pulled me [to the lead], so I didn’t want to take him back because he was happy there. He was comfortable [despite the fast fractions] after I cleared the horses inside of me on the first turn, he was really happy and enjoying it.”
Frosted is a son of 2003 GII Cotillion S. winner Fast Cookie (Deputy Minister), who earned over a half-million dollars during her racing career for owner/breeder Stonerside Stable and Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott. A two-time winner at Saratoga, having captured a dirt allowance and the 2004 edition of the grassy De La Rose S., Fast Cookie is a daughter of MGSW Fleet Lady (Avenue of Flags) and a half-sister to champion Midshipman (Unbridled’s Song). She has also produced the 3-year-old filly Indulgent (Bernardini), who most recently finished second in a Saratoga maiden special weight Aug. 4; and the unraced juvenile filly Apiary (Bernardini). She was bred back to Tapit this year.
Saturday, Saratoga Race Course
WHITNEY S.-GI, $1,195,000, SAR, 8-6, 3yo/up, 1 1/8m, 1:47.77, ft.
1–FROSTED, 124, c, 4, by Tapit
1st Dam: Fast Cookie (GSW, $557,480), by Deputy Minister
2nd Dam: Fleet Lady, by Avenue of Flags
3rd Dam: Dear Mimi, by Roberto
O-Godolphin Racing LLC; B-Darley (KY); T-Kiaran P.
McLaughlin; J-Joel Rosario. $670,000. Lifetime Record:
17-6-6-1, $3,852,800. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–Comfort, 117, c, 4, Indian Charlie–Unkatzable, by A.P. Indy.
($45,000 Ylg ’13 KEESEP). O-Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners;
B-KatieRich Stable (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher. $230,000.
3–Upstart, 119, r, 4, Flatter–Party Silks, by Touch Gold.
($130,000 Ylg ’13 SARAUG). O-Ralph M. Evans & WinStar Farm
LLC; B-Gerald A. Nielsen (NY); T-Richard A. Violette, Jr..
$125,000.Margins: 2, HF, NO. Odds: 0.50, 7.20, 10.90.
Also Ran: Effinex, Noble Bird, El Kabeir. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.