Frosted early 3-5 choice in Whitney field of six
The blowout Met Mile win on Belmont Stakes Day was an improved effort for Frosted, who had finished fifth behind California Chrome in the Dubai World Cup (G1) in his previous start March 26.
"We hope he performs close to [the Met Mile]," said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin in regards to possible regression off such a brilliant effort.
Frosted has won twice at nine furlongs, in the Wood Memorial (G1) and Pennsylvania Derby (G2), and as far as 1 3/16 miles. He placed in three prior starts over the Saratoga strip, including last year's Jim Dandy (G2), Travers (G1).
Second choice in the field is Grade 1 winner and last year's Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) runner-up Effinex. Third in the Santa Anita H. (G1) in March when suffering from an outbreak of hives, the Jimmy Jerkens trainee rebounded to take the Oaklawn H. (G2) by a length. A disappointing sixth in the Stephen Foster H. (G1) two back, Effinex shook off that loss and successfully defended his Suburban H. (G2) title over 1 1/4 miles at Belmont July 9.
The speed in the Whitney will likely be provided by Grade 1 veteran Noble Bird, a blowout winner of the Pimlico Special (G3) two back, but only sixth in the Met Mile. A distant third in the Met Mile was Grade 2 winner Upstart, who kicked off his season with a victory in the Razorback H. (G3) and a fifth to Effinex in the Oaklawn H.
The field is rounded out by Comfort, who enters on a three-race win streak for Todd Pletcher, including the $98,000 State Dinner at Belmont on July 4, and Grade 2 veteran El Kabeir, two lengths fourth in the Stephen Foster when last seen.
(Adam Coglianese Photography)