Frosted in ‘excellent’ condition following Whitney triumph

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TwinSpires Staff

August 7th, 2016

Edited Press Release

A decade after guiding Invasor through a Horse of the Year campaign that would ultimately land him in racing's Hall of Fame, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is enjoying a similar kind of ride with his current stable star.

Godolphin Racing's Frosted further solidified his credentials as the leading older horse on the East Coast with an impressive victory in Saturday's Whitney Stakes (G1), a command performance eight weeks after his record-setting triumph in the Metropolitan Handicap (G1).

The four-year-old son of Tapit was bright and happy Sunday morning following the Whitney, his third win from four starts this year, sixth in 17 for his career and third in Grade 1 company, pushing his lifetime bankroll to $3,852,800.

"He came out of the race excellent. That's him. He's very happy. He's a star. It makes our job easy," McLaughlin said. "It was a great race yesterday, and it's great to be in the winner's circle with Marylou Whitney."

Frosted made it look easy in the 1 1/8-mile Whitney, cruising on the lead through six furlongs in a sparkling 1:09.65 before effortlessly pulling away in the stretch under Joel Rosario to win by two lengths.

"You hear 1:09 and change and you get a little nervous, and then you look and see how easy he's doing it and he's in a good rhythm and Joel hasn't moved on him," McLaughlin said. "If he was there doing it that way, Joel had a lot of horse."

The Whitney earned Frosted an all-fees-paid trip to Santa Anita for the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) at 1 1/4 miles on November 5. He had already qualified for a berth in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) for his June 11 Met Mile victory at Belmont Park.

"We always were thinking Classic anyway, because Santa Anita is a two-turn mile. A one-turn mile would be different," McLaughlin said, "but the way he ran yesterday on the lead maybe the mile's OK at Santa Anita because he's forwardly placed. We'll just see, but most likely he'll stay long."

McLaughlin said his options before then include the $600,000 Woodward Stakes (G1) on September 3 at Saratoga and/or the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) on October 8 at Belmont Park. The Woodward is run at 1 1/8 miles and the Gold Cup is contested at the Classic's 1 1/4-mile distance.

"Obviously the Breeders' Cup is the main goal," he said. "Coming from the Breeders' Cup backwards, we could run in both of those races, one of those races or neither. I'll talk to Jimmy Bell and John Ferguson and they'll talk to the boss, Sheikh Mohammed, and see what their ideas are."

In 2006, Invasor won the Whitney and missed a scheduled start in the Gold Cup before winning the Breeders' Cup Classic to clinch champion older male and Horse of the Year honors.

"We were going to run in the Jockey Gold Cup but he got a temperature," McLaughlin said. "This time it would be different circumstances. It's nice because it's all weight-for-age, each race. We don't have to give a lot of weight away."

Invasor was retired in 2007 after capturing the Dubai World Cup (UAE-G1), and won all six of his races for McLaughlin after coming over from his native Argentina, where he swept the 2005 Triple Crown. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2013.

"I hope that I can say that (Frosted is) the best horse I've ever trained. I always say Invasor is, and it's tough to top that," McLaughlin said. "But, if he keeps going and maybe wins the Breeders' Cup Classic, we can go from there. But, he is up there. They're 1 and 1A."

Upstart, who nosed out Effinex to finish third behind Frosted and Comfort in the Whitney, emerged from the race in fine fettle, trainer Rick Violette Jr.reported Sunday morning.

"He came out of it good, tired but good. He ran hard. We tried to win it," Violette said. "We intended in being aggressive getting out of there, and we looked like we were going to be in the lead – which was not really in the plans – but we needed to be a little more aggressive. If we had ridden conservatively, maybe we would have been second. It might have cost us a placing, but he ran well."

The four-year-old son of Flatter clashed with the best last year, having tangled with Triple Crown winner American Pharoah three times – finishing 18th in the Kentucky Derby (G1), third in the Haskell Invitational (G1) and fourth behind Keen Ice, American Pharoah and Frosted in the Travers Stakes (G1).

The dark bay ridgling won the Razorback Handicap (G3) at Oaklawn Park to kick off 2016 and just prior to the Whitney was third to Frosted in that one's record-setting victory in the Metropolitan Handicap.

Violette said the Woodward could be under consideration for the Ralph Evans and WinStar Farm color-bearer.

"We'll nominate and monitor him," Violette remarked. "We were thinking the Woodward (before the Whitney) but he ran awfully hard, so four weeks might be a bit quick for him."

Violette added that the 1 1/8-mile Woodward is the next target for My Meadowview Farm's Samraat, most recently a quarter-length second to Effinex in the Suburban Handicap (G2).

"We had to skip a race, either the Whitney or the Woodward, and the Woodward might set him up better for the fall," he said.

Frosted photo courtesy of NYRA/Adam Mooshian/Adam Coglianese Photography
Whitney top four photo courtesy of NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography