World Class: Terrific Whitney success could be Frosted’s last

Frosted: backed up his Met Mile success with RPR of 126 in the Whitney

PICTURE: Jessie Holmes/ Equisport Photos Terrific Whitney success could be Frosted’s last By Sam Walker 7:00PM 7 AUG 2016

TAKE a moment to savour Frosted’s victory in the Whitney Stakes. Not only did it cement his status as the best miler in the world and prove he is no one-race wonder, it may also turn out to be the last win of his career.

That’s not to say Saturday’s Grade 1 winner is incapable of winning again. Far from it. He’s clearly in brilliant form and if connections fancy it they could win any mile race on dirt for the rest of this year – and next.

He’s without doubt an exceptional talent. His win in the Met Mile in June (130 RPR) ranks as one of the best performances in the world this year and he was absolutely cruising turning into the straight before easing to success with an RPR of 126 on the weekend.

But he wouldn’t be the first horse in history to post two big wins in high summer and then fade away by late autumn. Indeed, that’s exactly what happened with last year’s Whitney winner Honor Code, who was beaten on both subsequent starts.

Problems

However, there is a specific set of problems for Frosted to overcome if he is to win again. The first is that trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said having a lengthy break between races is “the most important thing” with Frosted, which means he may only have one more run this year.

His only firm target is the Breeders’ Cup Classic, which comes 91 days after the Whitney. The colt’s last three wins came off breaks of 56, 77 and 96 days, so squeezing in another race before the Classic, while possible, may not be the best move.

The second problem is that the Classic, which could be the last race of his career if he is retired to stud at the end of the season, is run at a distance over which Frosted has never won.

Second favourite

The colt is not devoid of stamina. He finished a distant second to American Pharoah in the Belmont Stakes over 1m4f and has bits and pieces of form over 1m2f, but on balance he looks better over shorter distances and a mile is probably his optimum.

He set off like a rocket in the Whitney over 1m1f, covering the first 6f in 1m9.65s, but he then paid for it and slowed to 13.25s in the final furlong. Add another furlong on the end and it starts to look like the Classic distance could prove a huge challenge for the speedy son of Tapit.

At a guess he could probably run to a low-to mid-120s figure over 1m2f, although if he sets off as fast as he did on the weekend there’s a chance he will fade significantly in the closing stages.

He currently rates a 6-1 second favourite for the Classic. The favourite is California Chrome, who is proven at the distance, having won races like the Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup.

Horse of the Year?

Much like California Chrome, Frosted has undoubtedly improved this season. Last year he had a peak RPR of 119 and was beaten in seven of his nine starts, his wins coming at Grade 2 level against lesser foes.

However, this year he has turned into a monster. He was a very easy winner in Dubai on his return before finishing fifth in the Dubai World Cup after charting a wide path. He then won the Met Mile by over 14 lengths with an display of relentless speed and he backed that up with a cosy win in the Whitney.

Connections could opt to add to his winning spree by targeting the Dirt Mile at the Breeders’ Cup in November, but you would have to wonder what he could possibly achieve in that race that he hasn’t proved already.

Even if he won the Dirt Mile by ten lengths it would be overshadowed by that superb performance at Belmont Park in summer.

The Classic, on the other hand, is America’s championship race and success there would make him nailed on for American Horse of the Year.

Final win?

Sure, he’s unlikely to stay and he faces at least one rock solid rival, but if he can grab a Classic victory, or even finish a close second to California Chrome, it would significantly enhance his legacy.

California Chrome has a better chance than Frosted of winning the Classic. He has already posted some very big RPRs this year and he’s been running like he could improve again. Frosted, meanwhile, probably hit his peak in the Met Mile in June and looks unlikely to improve over 1m2f in November.

From the fans’ point of view it’s a rare treat to have two of the best horses in the world ready, willing and able to take each other on and it is great news for us that connections of Frosted are willing to roll the dice.

The downside is that this first-rate stallion prospect, owned by one of the biggest breeding operations in the world, may have just tasted his final success.

TOP OF THE CLASS: Frosted 126 Kiaran McLaughlin (US) (Whitney Stakes, Saratoga, 1m1f, 6 August)

TOP LIST

Name (country trained)RaceRating
1A Shin Hikari (Jpn)Prix d’Ispahan131T
California Chrome (US)San Diego Handicap131D
3Frosted (US)Metropolitan Handicap130D
4Postponed (GB)Sheema Classic/Coronation Cup126T
Winx (Aus)Doncaster Mile126T
6Aerovelocity (HK)Centenary Sprint Cup125T
Dortmund (US)San Diego Handicap125D
Fascinating Rock (Ire)Tattersalls Gold Cup125T
Limato (GB)Darley July Cup125T
10Chautauqua (Aus)Black Caviar Lightning124T
Galileo Gold (GB)St James’s Palace Stakes124T
Harzand (Ire)Derby124T
My Dream Boat (GB)Prince Of Wales’s Stakes124T
Nyquist (US)Kentucky Derby124D
Terravista (Aus)Black Caviar Lightning124T
The Gurkha (Ire)Sussex Stakes124T
Time Test (GB)Brigadier Gerard124T

TURF

Name (country trained)RaceRating
1A Shin Hikari (Jpn)Prix d’Ispahan131
2Postponed (GB)Sheema Classic/Coronation Cup126
Winx (Aus)Doncaster Mile126
4Aerovelocity (HK)Centenary Sprint Cup125
Fascinating Rock (Ire)Tattersalls Gold Cup125
Limato (GB)Darley July Cup125
7Chautauqua (Aus)Black Caviar Lightning124
Galileo Gold (GB)St James’s Palace Stakes124
Harzand (Ire)Derby124
My Dream Boat (GB)Pricne Of Wales’s Stakes124
Terravista (Aus)Black Caviar Lightning124
The Gurkha (Ire)Sussex Stakes124
Time Test (GB)Brigadier Gerard124

DIRT

Name (country trained)RaceRating
1California Chrome (US)San Diego Handicap131
2Frosted (US)Metropolitan Handicap130
3Dortmund (US)San Diego Handicap125
4Nyquist (US)Kentucky Derby124
5Exaggerator (US)Haskell Invitational123
6Effinex (US)Oaklawn Handicap122
7Taris (US)Humana Distaff121
8A.P. Indian (US)Alfred G. Vanderbilt120
Beholder (US)Clement L. Hirsch120
X Y Jet (US)Sunshine Millions Sprint120

Tags: Frosted | Kiaran McLaughlin
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