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Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Past the Grandstand

New Golden Era of Racing, Part Three: Frosted

Frosted Met Mary 615 X 400
Photo: Mary Cage

Each year, a number of talented racehorses step foot on the track and offer great performances. But it is not every year that several truly elite horses keep the racing atmosphere electric with one brilliant performance after another. In 2016, American racing fans have witnessed a plethora of fantastic performances from superb horses. Some of these horses may go down as all-time greats, some may not, but regardless, it is a great time to be a racing fan. This series features these horses.

Part Three: Frosted

2015 was the year of American Pharoah. Lost in his shadow, however, was a gray colt waiting to find the spotlight. That colt – Frosted – was a nice two-year-old, breaking his maiden by 5 ¼ lengths before playing second fiddle in the Remsen Stakes (gr. II). After a runner-up effort in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. II) and a fourth place finish in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), Frosted finally found the spotlight with a two-length win in the Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I).

The Tapit colt fared well in the Triple Crown, competing in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I), but could not overtake the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years in American Pharoah. After finishing fourth in the Derby, beaten just over three lengths, Frosted skipped the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) in favor of the Belmont. Frosted gave American Pharoah everything he had, but was no match as American Pharoah galloped into history – although Frosted did finish a clear second, two lengths ahead of Keen Ice.

After running a game second in the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II), beaten only a half-length by 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Texas Red, Frosted again faced American Pharoah – this time in the Travers Stakes (gr. I). He pressed the pace set by the Triple Crown winner all the way around the track, remaining only a narrow margin behind American Pharoah down the backstretch. He collared that rival around the final bend, giving him everything he had before they were both passed by Keen Ice.

Frosted returned to the winner’s circle next out in the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II), coasting to an easy two-length win, overtaking his rivals with power. However, he did not fare so well in his final race as a three-year-old, the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) at Keeneland, finishing seventh. But this was certainly no indication of what the next year would hold in store for the gray colt.

Frosted did not begin his 2016 campaign in the United States, but rather in Dubai when he took on eight rivals in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (UAE-II). The powerful mover sat off the pace before pouncing to the lead in the stretch, drawing off to a five-length victory. This race was used as a prep for the $10-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), but the four-year-old did not fare as well there, finishing fifth – beaten more than 5 lengths by California Chrome.

But when Frosted returned to American racing in the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) on Belmont Stakes Day in June, he had regained his brilliance – and then some. After racing mid-pack throughout, Frosted was maneuvered around a wall of horses through the far turn by jockey Joel Rosario. That rider remained a statue in the saddle as Frosted seized the lead turning for home, kicking clear from his rivals as if they were standing still. He finished 14 ¼ lengths ahead – the largest winning margin in the history of the 123-year-old race – in a final time of 1:32.73, another Met Mile record.

Frosted was not seen again until the Whitney Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga on August 6, where he again performed in a breathtaking manner. This time, Frosted set the pace, posting quick fractions of 23.11, 46.42, 1:09.65, and 1:34.52. Despite being pressed by grade one winner Noble Bird throughout, Frosted maintained his lead and repelled the charges of his foes as they turned for home. With only a light ride from Joel Rosario, the gray coasted to an impressive two-length lead.

Frosted has more to prove, but one thing he has undoubtedly already proven is his brilliance. His record-breaking performance in the Met Mile was perhaps the most impressive in the race’s rich history, and he proved in the Whitney that it was most certainly not a fluke. Frosted has always been a talented racehorse, but he has seemed to reach a new level. It will be exciting to see what the remainder of his career holds in store.


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About Mary Cage


Mary with champion Classic Empire

Mary Cage, a 21-year-old avid fan of horse racing, has been around horses all her life, having owned, shown, and judged them for as long as she can remember. She began writing her own horse racing blog, Past the Grandstand, in August 2011 and has since been published in America's Horse, American Racehorse and the Appaloosa Journal, as well as with the websites of The Blood-Horse and The Equine Chronicle. She has also had photos published with Paulick Report and Thoroughbred Daily News. In addition, she works as one of the social media coordinators for the Texas Thoroughbred Association and has interned at WinStar Farm with a marketing focus - with projects involving photography, videography, giving tours, data entry, etc. 

In her personal horse experience, Mary has been around horses all her life and has won several Appaloosa National Champion and Reserve World Champion titles in the show ring. She has also worked as a hotwalker and groom.

Mary has always aspired to have a career with horses and since her love for horse racing began, she has dreamed of pursuing a career in the Thoroughbred racing industry, possibly as a writer/photographer and marketing/communications specialist. She is currently attending the University of North Texas, where she is a journalism major with a concentration in advertising and a minor in marketing. With this blog, she hopes to show readers horse racing through the eyes of a young fan and transport you to some of racing's biggest events through her photos and words.

University of Louisville College of Business Equine Program

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