Saratoga fans could get another look at Frosted

Frosted’s performance in the Met Mile could be summed up with a “Wow.” His Whitney win at Saratoga R
Jockey Joel Rosario celebrates after riding Frosted to victory Saturday in the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
Jockey Joel Rosario celebrates after riding Frosted to victory Saturday in the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.

Frosted’s performance in the Met Mile could be summed up with a “Wow.”

His Whitney win at Saratoga Race Course drew a collective “Wait, what?”

Now we’ve reached the “Hmm” stage.

For there is much to contemplate after Godolphin Racing’s gray son of Tapit ran the Whitney field into the ground on Saturday.

What is not in question is the fact that Frosted has clearly put himself in the conversation for a potential Horse of the Year Eclipse Award, even though it’s only Aug. 8. And there are some horses by the name of California Chrome, Beholder and Dortmund on the West Coast, some 3-year-olds, like Preakness and Haskell winner Exaggerator and Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, and the wonderful turf mare Tepin still rattling around out there.

The good news for Saratoga fans is that there’s a solid chance that they’ll get to see Frosted race again.

The Woodward on closing weekend makes sense, at the same nine-furlong distance as the Whitney, in which he uncharacteristically shot out to the lead on white-hot early fractions, surely on what appeared to the crowd to be a suicide mission.

Even John Velazquez, riding Comfort, called it “shocking” to see the Godolphin horse leading early, and at such a high-octane pace, no less.

Jockey Joel Rosario was on Frosted’s back and knew better, and the 4-year-old colt just kept going, winning by an unthreatened two lengths.

At least one genius (me) who picked Frosted at 3-5 on the morning line never en­visioned that it would go down like this.

But apparently it’s Frosted’s world, and we’re just living in it, at least on the East Coast.

When considering the Breeders’ Cup options between the mile-and-a-quarter Classic and the Dirt Mile, trainer

Kiaran McLaughlin said that the Whitney win made the Classic look more attractive.

Frosted could be a beast in a one-turn mile, as he showed by winning the Met Mile at gigantic Belmont Park by 14 1⁄4 lengths, but the one-turn aspect goes out the window at the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita, where a mile on the main track goes two turns.

“We always were thinking Classic, anyway, because Santa Anita is two turns for a mile, so it doesn’t really help us,” McLaughlin said. “If it was a one-turn mile, it would be different. But, the way he ran yesterday on the lead, maybe the [Dirt] Mile’s OK at Santa Anita, because he’s forwardly placed. But we’ll see. Most likely, we’ll just stay long.”

They will stay east, until the Breeders’ Cup. The only races on the radar are the Woodward and the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park, and they could do either or both or . . . neither?

The McLaughlin-trained Invasor won the 2006 Horse of the Year with a victory in the Whitney, then training all the way up to the Breeders’ Cup Classic without another start over the course of that three months.

But there’s a strike-while-the-iron-is-hot component here, too. And, in fact, In­vasor was scheduled to run in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, but missed it with a temperature.

“Yeah, there’s a chance [of running in the Woodward],” McLaughlin said. “It’s weight-for-age and it’s on this track and he doesn’t have to ship anywhere. It’s a possibility. I don’t know. We’ll just have to take it race by race, and look at the [speed] figures from Saturday.”

In California, meanwhile, 2014 Horse of the Year Cal­ifornia Chrome and Dortmund had sharp works Sunday morning and are set for a rematch in the Pacific Classic on Aug. 20, after Chrome prevailed by a half-length over Dortmund in a stretch-long duel in the San Diego Handicap, one of the best races of the year so far.

Trainer Richard Mandella said the mare Beholder is 50-50 to make the Pacific Classic, after she suffered only her second loss since May of 2013 last time out, to Stellar Wind in the Clement Hirsch.

Exaggerator has wrestled control of the 3-year-old division away from Nyquist by virtue of his Haskell win, and Tepin faces the difficulty of cracking into the Horse of the Year ranks simply because turf horses not named Wise Dan never win it.

Besides Frosted, the Woodward field likely will include Samraat and perhaps his stablemate Upstart, who got up for third in the Whitney, and Todd Pletcher was pleased with how his lightly raced colt, Comfort, who was second, ran in the Whitney. McLaughlin said Mubtaahij, who was second to California Chrome in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (Frosted was fifth) and third to Effinex in the Suburban, is pointing toward the Woodward.

If Frosted is in there, it may not matter.

On Whitney Day, this was a horse who acted as if there was no one else in the race.

“He came out of the race excellent. That’s him,” McLaughlin said. “He’s very happy. He’s a star.”

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