USA: Frosted out to ice rivals in Whitney Stakes

Frosted: was dominant in the Met Mile and attempts to follow that up

PICTURE: Jessie Holmes / Equisport Photos Frosted out to ice rivals in Whitney Stakes
By Nicholas Godfrey 7:02AM 6 AUG 2016

Preview: USA, Saturday 11.18pm BST (live on ATR)

Saratoga: Whitney Stakes (Grade 1) 1m1f, dirt, 3yo+
AFTER his jaw­- dropping victory in the Met Mile, Frosted (Kiaran McLaughlin/Joel Rosario) is the star attraction at Saratoga on Saturday as the Godolphin grey tries to repeat the dose in the $1.25 million Whitney.

The four­-year­-old stunned the US racing community with his Met Mile performance as he ripped the storied race apart with a spectacular 14¼­-length success.

RELATED LINKS

  • Whitney Stakes card

Although his rivals include Breeders’ Cup Classic runner­-up Effinex, anything close to the same performance level would surely be enough for another triumph.

The problem is that while he tasted Grade 1 success as a three­-year­-old and was also second to American Pharoah in the Belmont Stakes, Frosted had never before run to within 10lb of his Met Mile rating according to RPRs and now steps back up a furlong in trip at a venue where he is winless in three previous outings.

Moreover, he has always been beaten on his subsequent outing after a victory – but trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is suggesting the key to keeping the horse’s form intact may be more spacing between his races.

The Met Mile, which took place on June 11, was the son of Tapit’s first run since a lacklustre effort in the Dubai World Cup.

“The time to the Met Mile was very important,” said McLaughlin. “He had 70 days, he was back with Joel, back with Lasix, but the timing, I thought, was the most important thing. Last year, we were running often. So the time was key and now we have time again, about eight weeks. He doesn’t act like he needs it but it looks like he’s better with a little time.”

If Frosted does not produce the goods, the horse most likely to pick up the pieces is Breeders’ Cup Classic runner­-up Effinex (Jimmy Jerkens/Mike Smith), who completed back­-to­-back successes last month in the Suburban Handicap at Belmont.

Also involved are Upstart (Rick Violette/Irad Ortiz) and Noble Bird (Mark Casse/Julien Leparoux), beaten into third and sixth by Frosted in the Met Mile. Likely to make the running, Noble Bird scored for the first time since last year’s Stephen Foster Handicap when claiming the Pimlico Special in May.

Also on Saturday

Saratoga: Test Stakes (Grade 1) 7f, dirt, 3yo fillies (10.02pm BST, live on ATR)

Off The Tracks (Todd Pletcher/Jose Ortiz), all­-the­-way winner of last month’s Mother Goose Stakes, bids to confirm placings with runner­-up Lewis Bay (Chad Brown/Irad Ortiz) as the pair cut back in distance for this $500,00 contest. Breaking from gate seven, she concedes a few pounds to her seven rivals.

Mountaineer: West Virginia Derby (Grade 2) 1m1f, dirt, 3yo (11.21pm BST, live on ATR)

Coolmore­-owned Cupid (Bob Baffert/Rafael Bejarano) and Mo Tom (Tom Amoss/Joe Bravo), respective winners of the Indiana and Ohio Derbies, are the highest-­profile names heading into West Virginia for this $750,000 prize.

Tags: Frosted | Kiaran McLaughlin
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