Frosted has always been the forgotten horse; the horse with unfulfilled potential; the horse that is always stuck playing second fiddle.
In early 2015, he was stuck behind Gulfstream Park sensation Upstart. However, after a minor throat surgery and relocation to Aqueduct Racetrack, Frosted broke through with a win in the Wood Memorial (GI). Unfortunately, his win in the Wood didn’t earn him the respect it should have. Dortmund, an unbeaten force of nature from Santa Anita, and the devastatingly brilliant American Pharoah got most of the headlines.
As it turned out, the fans were right in giving Dortmund and American Pharoah the attention. As we all know, American Pharoah not only won the Kentucky Derby (GI), but the entire Triple Crown, while Dortmund finished third in the Kentucky Derby. Frosted did what everyone expected. He ran the best of the rest, finishing a strong-closing fourth.
Frosted continued to chase American Pharoah for the rest of the year, running second in the Belmont Stakes (GI), third in the Travers Stakes (GI) and seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI). It is because of this many believe that he is incapable of stringing together big performances.
They are wrong.
Frosted ran into one of the greatest horses that the Sport of Kings has seen in a very long while. Just because he didn’t win all of his races after the Wood Memorial does not mean he didn’t produce some huge performances. His fourth in the Kentucky Derby was a very strong race. He made up 10 ½ lengths in the last half-mile that day, which was several more than any other horse in the race.
Frosted returned next in the Belmont Stakes in New York, where he put in another huge effort. That day he was no match for American Pharoah, but was clearly the best of the rest in yet another Grade I. During the summer, he never finished worse than third, even managing to win the Pennsylvania Derby (GII). His only bad race came in the Breeders’ Cup Classic after a long, hard season of one big performance after another.
In 2016, he began with a track-record-setting performance in his prep for the Dubai World Cup, the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (GII). After a rough trip and running into the buzzsaw known as California Chrome in the Dubai World Cup, Frosted faded to fifth.
At this point, many had lost faith in the gray son of Tapit, but he would soon remind them of his prowess in the Met Mile Handicap (GI). In an eye-popping performance, Frosted ran away to win by 14 over lengths while setting a new stakes record. The numbers for the race were spectacular, with Beyer designating the race a 123 and Thoro-Graph rating it a record figure of -8 ½.
Now Frosted is entered in the Whitney Stakes (GI), drawing post position four of six. Will it be tough to replicate the effort that won him the Met Mile? Statistically, yes. Heck, statistically, it is impossible to replicate just about anything to an exact science. But that doesn’t mean that Frosted won’t deliver the goods, especially when he is training fantastically, according to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
“He’s doing great. He couldn’t be doing better,” McLaughlin said. “He has matured so much from 3 to 4 and he is doing fabulous. I feel very comfortable and confident.”
Some feel the distance might be a little too long for Frosted after such a dominant performance in the Met Mile, but McLaughlin thinks that the distance of one and one eighth miles is right in Frosted’s wheelhouse.
“He won the Wood Memorial at a mile and an eighth, was third here in the Travers when we lost Joel [Rosario] right before the race [to injury], which would have made a difference, I believe,” McLaughlin said. “He won the Pennsylvania Derby at a mile and an eighth. We feel comfortable and confident that the mile and an eighth is not going to be an issue.”
If distance is not an issue and neither is putting together good performances, then what is? The horses? No horse in the Whitney lineup has demonstrated the type of ability to put them within the same zip code as Frosted on his best day. They would need to take a major step up or Frosted would have to seriously regress for any of them to win the Whitney.
With this in mind, expect Frosted to not only win the Whitney, but to dominate it.