Frosted Faces Eight in Woodward


By Blood-Horse Staff, courtesy of Blood-Horse

Frosted emerged from his Aug. 6 Whitney (gr. I) victory in fine fettle at Saratoga Race Course, and returns Sept. 3 to take on eight rivals in the $600,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I).

Godolphin Racing's homebred 4-year-old son of Tapit will look to continue the sensational summer he began in New York with a record-setting 14 1/4-length victory in the June 11 Mohegan Sun Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park, followed by his easy two-length victory off sharp early fractions at Saratoga in the Whitney.

"Frosted's doing great since his last race. We're looking forward to Saturday," said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "His last race wasn't a 'wow' off-the-charts race on numbers and things, so we thought we could run back in four weeks."

McLaughlin noted that Frosted, already armed with automatic berths into both the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) and the Dirt Mile (gr. I), was put under consideration for the Woodward in part due to the added flexibility it offers for the colt's schedule ahead of the year-end championships Nov. 5-6 at Santa Anita Park.

"The thinking is that it's 60 days to the Breeders' Cup," he said. "That's not to say we won't run back in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. If he's tearing the barn down like he has been, we might do both. But Sheik Mohammed is involved with the decision making, so I don't know. Right now, we're giving ourselves a good chance to get 60 days to the Breeders' Cup."

McLaughlin said that in addition to the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (gr. I) Oct. 8 at Belmont, Frosted will likely be nominated to the $350,000 Kelso Handicap (gr. II) at one mile, also Oct. 8, as well as the Oct. 1 Awesome Again (gr. I) at Santa Anita, as the colt's connections weigh his Breeders' Cup options.

"We'll have all of our options open," McLaughlin said. "He can do anything. He's a straightforward as they come."

Frosted will again be in the hands of jockey Joel Rosario, who has been aboard the colt since his win in the 2014 Wood Memorial (gr. I). The pair will break from post 3.

McLaughlin is also represented by Mubtaahij, who will make his first start since turning in a game third in the July 9 Suburban Handicap (gr. II) under Irad Ortiz, Jr. at Belmont. The runner-up in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) before being transferred to the McLaughlin barn, the 4-year-old Irish-bred colt by Dubawi won the UAE Derby (UAE-II) as a sophomore to earn a spot on the Triple Crown trail, where he finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and fourth in the Belmont Stakes Presented by DraftKings (gr. I) in 2015.

"I think he has improved since the Suburban," McLaughlin said of Mubtaahij. "Since being here, he's been doing really well. Irad feels like he knows him better now after riding him last time, (that he) learned a little something about him, so we'll see how it goes. We think he's going to run big."

Ortiz has the return call aboard Mubtaahij, who will depart from the outside post.

Expected to attract support as well are Stephen Foster (gr. I) victor Bradester, who boasts a three-race win streak for Joseph Sutton and trainer Eddie Kenneally; My Meadowview Farm's Suburban runner-up Samraat from the Rick Violette, Jr. barn; and 2015 Preakness (gr. I) runner-up Tale of Verve, who exitis an impressive allowance win July 23 for owner and breeder Charles Fipke and trainer Dallas Stewart.

Rounding out the field for the Woodward are Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) winner Shaman Ghost, fifth in the Suburban last time out for Stronach Stables and trainer Jimmy Jerkens; Gunpowder Farms' Breaking Lucky, winner of the Aug. 1 Seagram Cup (Can-III) at Woodbine for trainer Reade Baker; Florida-bred stakes winner Catholic Cowboy representing Mossarosa and Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito; and Naipaul Chatterpaul trainee Tapin Mojo.