Miss Frost took the lead in mid-stretch and held off a late bid from Final Redemption to win the $100,000 Tenski by a half-length on Monday at Saratoga Race Course.
Under Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado, the 3-year-old daughter of Curlin ran one mile on turf in 1:35.09, and paid $20.40, $9.20 and $6.10 for her second win in four starts this year and second in three lifetime tries at Saratoga.
The win was the first of the meet for Prado, who is now 1-for-23.
“Any time you win a race in Saratoga it is special, and today makes it more special because it took a while to get in the winner’s circle,” Prado said. “I’m glad I did it, and it was in a stakes race.
“It’s all about the horse; that’s why they call it horse racing. I keep the horse out of trouble and give it the best chance and opportunity to win. If you don’t have the horse, you can’t do anything about it.
Trainder Tom Albertrani had a good feeling when he saw Prado keeping Miss Frost wide.
“[Jockey] Edgar [Prado] was happy to be out there anyway,” Albertrani told the New York Racing Association. “She likes to have her space. She likes to be in her own little comfort zone. He could’ve dropped her inside, but he decided to leave her out there and just bring her in gradually on the backside. She was actually in the perfect spot to be on the backside.
“With this filly, if you get her in behind, she’ll fight you. So she was in a good spot. She was just running her own race and not worrying about what was in front of her. As long as she is in the clear and has nothing in her way, that’s when she runs her best.
Final Redemption finished second, returning $7.30 and $4.90. Zinzay was another head back in third, paying $5.20 to show.
Owned by Dogwood Stable, Miss Frost was third in the P.G. Johnson Stakes last summer at Saratoga. The $60,000 winner’s share of the purse boosted her career earnings to $181,052.
“She likes it here,” said Albertrani. “She ran well as a 2-year-old here. She broke her maiden and came back in a little stakes last year. Maybe this is her place.”
Less than a week ago, trainer Tony Dutrow was dealing with the loss of graded stakes winner Big Trouble, whose racing career ended with a torn suspensory ligament.
Helping to fill the void is another up-and-coming 2-year-old in I Spent It, who showed maturity and talent in taking the Grade II Saratoga Special on Sunday.
“Trouble still hurts. He’s such a nice horse, and such a nice horse to be around. He’s our good friend,” Dutrow said. “To be fortunate enough to have another one like I Spent It, we’re just so blessed. We feel fortunate to be standing here today with a horse like that under our care.”
In just his second start, I Spent It tracked strong early fractions set by Nonna’s Boy, and responded when roused by jockey Javier Castellano to spurt through a narrow opening between the rail and win by 2 3⁄4 lengths.
Though he had been high on the horse, Dutrow was even more wowed by I Spent It’s performance after watching the race replay several times.
“I had tried to be professional for the last couple months about this boy, but all of us around here that are working with him all felt really confident in him,” he said. “I really wanted to tell everybody what a really good horse this is. None of what happened [Sunday] surprised any of us.”
A great breeze
Viva Majorca, being pointed to the Grade I Travers on Aug. 23, had a five-furlong work over the main track for trainer Ian Wilkes.
Owned by Marylou Whitney, whose Birdstone won a memorable edition of the Travers 10 years ago, Viva Majorca went out just after the renovation break and was clocked in 1:00.67 under jockey Julien Leparoux, third-fastest of 22 horses at the distance.
“It was a great breeze,” Wilkes said. “It was a very crisp work. I did a little longer work with him. I let him stride into the pole a little more today, and he still finished up strong and galloped out strong. It was just what I thought he needed. He’s a good horse, and he’s moving forward.”