Upstart to tangle with Frosted again in Whitney

ELMONT, N.Y. – Upstart finished third in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap dominated by Frosted, and he is being pointed to another meeting with Frosted in the Grade 1, $1.25 million Whitney on Aug. 6 at Saratoga.

It’ll be a salty race,” trainer Richard Violette said. “Frosted is Frosted, but if ever he’s going to react to a race, it might be in his next start.”

Frosted won the Met Mile by 14 1/4 lengths and earned a 123 Beyer Speed Figure. Upstart was beaten 15 1/4 lengths.

In the Met Mile, Upstart raced in blinkers for the first time. While it didn’t help him break from the gate much better than in his previous starts, Violette felt they did help during the running of the race.

“With the blinkers, he fought along the inside, and he split horses,” Violette said. “The blinkers made him braver.”

Also at Saratoga, Violette is eyeing the first pair of juvenile stakes for Olive Branch and Random Walk, a pair of debut winners at this meet.

Olive Branch, a daughter of Speightstown who won her debut May 18 by two lengths, was scratched out of the $200,000 Astoria Stakes on June 9 after acting up in the paddock and crashing through a portable rail. She was not hurt and has already come back to work. She is pointing to the Grade 3, $150,000 Schuylerville Stakes on July 22.

Random Walk, a son of Super Saver who won his debut June 3 by 5 3/4 lengths, is pointing to the Grade 3, $150,000 Sanford on July 23.

“The colt surprised me how impressive he was,” Violette said. “The filly always did things easier.”

Samraat, who finished fourth in the Brooklyn Invitational on Belmont Day, is expected to run in the Grade 2, $500,000 Suburban at Belmont on July 9.

Tom Franklin is a senior contributor at US Racing.
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