Frosted and Texas Red headline Saratoga’s Jim Dandy

July 30, 2015 06:29am
Frosted at Belmont Park
Photo: NYRA Photo

Once characterized as a Supervillain on these very pages, it turns out Frosted has no evil tendencies whatsoever. Rather he is only a very talented horse, who probably has not yet won as many times as his ability suggests he could. The gray son of Tapit will get another chance to make amends for five second-place finishes, when he runs as the likely favorite in Saturday’s Grade 2 Jim Dandy at Saratoga.

Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin for the Godolphin Stable, Frosted has compiled better than $1.2 million in earnings to go along with a 9-2-5-0 career record, but after a very disappointing fourth place performance in the Fountain of Youth in February, where he looked like a winner at the top of the stretch, McLaughlin was forced to go back to the drawing board. The changes worked, and Frosted won the Grade 1 Wood Memorial impressively in his very next start.

"We changed everything for the Wood. It was a great achievement for our whole team," said McLaughlin. "It was very satisfying because of how many times we watched the replay of the Fountain of Youth and tried to figure out what went wrong. I'd put it in the top five [wins] of my career."

Since the Wood Memorial victory, Frosted has not found the winner’s circle in two subsequent starts, but blame for that can fall squarely on the shoulders of American Pharoah. Frosted ran a very good Kentucky Derby when finishing fourth. He was the only horse in the race to make a sustained rally from well back, and was just a jump or two from grabbing third from Dortmund. In the Belmont, Frosted made a strong early run, and even found a bit of trouble on the turn, before being decisively turned away by the champion. Still, he was clearly second best in the Triple Crown’s final leg.

Frosted drew the outside post 7 and will have rider Joel Rosario in the irons for the fourth consecutive start.

Despite its status as a prep for the $1.25 million Travers on August 29, the $600,000 Jim Dandy is clearly an important race in its own right, and therefore it should come as no surprise that Frosted will face some serious competition in Saturday’s nine furlong affair, including the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner, Texas Red.

Like Frosted, the talented Texas Red has yet to string victories together, and in fact, comes into the Jim Dandy without a victory so far in 2015 for trainer Keith Desormeaux and owners Erich Brehm, Wayne Detmar, and Lee Michaels. Don’t confuse his 0-for-2 record with poor racing, though.

The powerful winner of the most important juvenile race in the nation of last year has raced only two times this year. He began his season with a solid runner-up finish to Lord Nelson, beaten only a neck in the Grade 2 San Vicente back on February 1. The distance of seven furlongs really is not his cup of tea, so it seemed like a great way to start his personal Kentucky Derby trail, but alas an injury prevented any further racing until the July 4 Dwyer Stakes. There, he ran into an undefeated buzzsaw in Speightster, but again the second-place finish was a positive one, when you consider the layoff, and that it was simply a stepping stone to bigger things to come.

Texas Red drew post 3 for the Jim Dandy, and the son of Afleet Alex again will be piloted by the Hall of Famer brother of the trainer, Kent Desormeaux.

The Jim Dandy drew five other talented three-year-olds, but with multiple cross-entries, the field could come up as small as four. Perhaps most interesting of the rest is the lightly raced Bill Mott-trainee, Japan. Moved to the Mott barn by owner Barry Schwartz after the illness of Mike Hushion, the tall son of Medaglia d’Oro has been improving leaps and bounds of late, and could come to Saratoga as the ‘Now’ horse.

After finishing 6th and 2nd in maiden races in late February and early April to begin his career, the leggy dark bay routed a maiden field at Churchill Downs by seven eye-catching lengths, and followed that up with a win over Stanford in the short-field Easy Goer Stakes on the Belmont undercard. Any further improvement for his red-hot trainer, could make Japan a real threat to upset the applecart of the top two.

The remaining Jim Dandy entrants include the cross-entered trio of Upstart, Competitive Edge, and Tekton, as well as the Nick Zito-trained, Frammento.


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Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His new racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing show, HorseCenter and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

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