Two turns? No problem.
Nine furlongs? Piece of cake.
New competition? A walk in the park.
Winning back-to-back starts? No longer an issue for Godolphin Racing’s Frosted.
The son of Tapit waltzed to victory in the Aug. 6 Whitney Stakes (GI) and put to rest any notion of being “inconsistent.” Frosted also became only the ninth horse to complete the Met Mile/Whitney double in the same year, adding his name to an elite list that contains the likes of Tom Fool and Carry Back.
Frosted showed a new dimension with his win in the Whitney Stakes by leading at every call of the race. He did press the pace in the 2015 Travers against American Pharoah, but was only called in front during the race once. In the Whitney he set a pace that announcer Larry Collmus described as “flying,” going the first six furlongs in :23.11, :46.42 and 1:09.65.
“He was cooking,” jockey Joel Rosario said. “I know he probably went a little too fast — more more than — but that race he ran the other day [the Met Mile] going a mile, I thought it might have him a little sharp.”
Rosario’s instincts were right, the Met Mile had Frosted very sharp. And as the field was sent on their way he was dead set on going to the lead.
“He pulled me [to the lead], so I didn’t want to take him back because he was happy there,” Rosario said. “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 made that clear to those watching by pulling away in the stretch run, maintaining his lead with little more than a steady hand ride from Rosario. He crossed the wire two and a half lengths the best while recording a solid final time of 1:47.77 for the nine-furlong distance.
“He is right up at the top,” said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, when asked where Frosted ranked among the horses he’s trained.
“Invasor 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 be right there with him or pass him,” McLaughlin said.
As of now all options are being kept open for Frosted. According to McLaughlin, there is the possibility of Frosted making appearances in the Woodward Stakes (GI), the Jockey Club Gold Cup (GI), or simply training up to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) from the Whitney. Should his connections elect to train up to the Classic then Frosted would be following the path that Invasor parlayed into Breeders’ Cup success.
After the race there was much talk about Frosted being in the conversation for Horse of the Year, some saying he now rivals California Chrome for that honor.
Frosted’s Whitney Stakes performance was indeed impressive and he does seem to be on a new level since coming back from Dubai. However, two impressive wins do not outweigh an undefeated season that includes a victory in the Dubai World Cup, especially if California Chrome were to add the Pacific Classic later this month.
What this does do, however, is make Frosted an exciting challenger for California Chrome in November. Should all of the big names keep their form up, then the stage will be set for an epic showdown. If they do, there is a good possibility that the 2016 Breeders Cup Classic could wind up being one of the best editions since the race’s inception.