GI Pegasus World Cup gate owners Jerry and Ronnie Frankel will partner with Jerry Crawford's Donegal Racing to run 2015 GI Travers S. hero Keen Ice (Curlin) in the inaugural running of the $12-million race at Gulfstream Jan. 28, Donegal Racing announced Tuesday.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, the hulking bay ran third behind likely Pegasus favorites Arrogate (Unbridled's Song) and California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit) in the GI Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita Nov. 5 and most recently was runner-up to stablemate and possible Pegasus contender Stanford (Malibu Moon) in the GIII Harlan's Holiday S. at Gulfstream Park Dec. 17.
“Everyone knows that California Chrome and Arrogate are in a league by themselves, but we believed from day one that Keen Ice was the best 'other' horse available, and he has proven it in his last two races,” said Jerry Frankel. “Of course, everyone thought that American Pharoah was in a league by himself the day Keen Ice beat him in the Travers, proving anything can happen.”
Crawford added, “We are excited to partner up with the Frankels. Keen Ice could not be training better. We love the opportunity to run in the biggest race by purse in American racing history. Jerry and Ronnie really believe in this race and what it can do for horse racing, and we are glad to provide them a quality horse to take a shot. Our partners are also very excited about the race and, as usual, scores of our partners and their guests will be on hand Jan. 28.”
Pletcher was pleased by the announcement, commenting, “The Frankels and Donegal have put together a win-win arrangement and now one of the best horses in training is locked in.”
The financial terms of the agreement are being kept confidential, but Brad Weisbord of BSW Bloodstock assisted in the transaction.