04/08/2015 1:14PM

Frosted fans breathe easier

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As the field motored around the far turn in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream on February 21, jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. probably had a big smile on his face.

His mount, FROSTED, had coasted to the lead under virtually no urging. The main competition, UPSTART and ITSAKNOCKOUT, were seemingly off the bridle and merely going up and down.

Ortiz and Frosted were about to punch their ticket to Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby.

Frosted simply stopped running.

He went from 100 to 0 in four strides, was inhaled by Upstart, Itsaknockout and FRAMMENTO (!) and finished fourth.

What happened?

"He looked like he just pulled himself up," a shocked Kiaran McLaughlin told track publicity after the Fountain of Youth. "He shortened stride on his own. We don’t know if it’s from hitting him or not. Irad’s not sure, but we thought we were a winner turning for home. He just pulled himself up when he got to the front. I think the blinkers helped for the most part, but not the last quarter. I don’t know what it was. We’ll have to go back to the drawing board, because he looked like a winner.”

McLaughlin wasn't sure what went wrong that final quarter of a mile, but he sent Frosted in for a throat operation that can keep a horse from displacing his soft palate. The shrewd trainer wasn't sure whether Frosted's breathing was inhibited in the Fountain of Youth, but he was taking no chances.

Going into last Saturday's Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, Frosted's form posed plenty of questions to handicappers. Here was a horse with tremendous potential, but one with a lifetime record of only 6-1-4-0 and plenty of excuses.

In the Grade 2 Remsen last fall, Frosted's first start around two turns, he was mired in a terrible outside post position over a strong rail-favoring track. In his seasonal debut, the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream on January 24, he ran into a sharp Upstart while perhaps being a bit short of conditioning off the layoff.

It was make or break time for Frosted in the Wood.

Frosted broke from post position four under a new rider, Joel Rosario, and settled near the back of the back while three and four paths off the rail. The early pace was slow as longshot TOASTING MASTER and race favorite DAREDEVIL walked through splits of 24.50 and 49.04.

Entering the final turn, New York-bred TENCENDUR attempted to break things open with a wide sweep to the lead. Following close behind was Frosted, who was moving smoothly under Rosario.

Tencendur reached the front turning for home, but Rosario remained still on Frosted. It appeared that Frosted was moving in a similar fashion as the Fountain of Youth.

The moment of truth arrived at the three-sixteenth pole when Rosario pushed the button. Would Frosted respond?

He certainly did.

Under hands and heels urging, Frosted collared Tencendur and pulled away in the final sixteenth without feeling the sting of Rosario's whip. Frosted completed his last three-eighths in 36.55, ran the final furlong in 12.47, finished the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.31 and received a career-best 103 Beyer Speed Figure.

Considering he was wide in a race with no pace and that he never was asked with any sense of urgency, it was a very visually impressive performance, an effort that stamps Frosted as a fascinating contender in the Kentucky Derby.

Foaled in Kentucky on April 18, 2012, Frosted is a Darley homebred racing under the blue Godolphin silks. He is by the phenomenal stallion Tapit, who is also represented in 2015 by Grade 1 winners Ring Weekend and Constitution. Tapit is also the sire of champions Stardom Bound, Hansen and Untapable, and Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist.

Tapit won the Wood Memorial in 2004 with a 98 Beyer before finishing ninth in the Kentucky Derby. According to DRF statistics, Tapit has 39 prior performers at the Derby distance of 1 1/4 miles. Seven of them won with an overall record at ten furlongs of 50-7-6-5 (14%).

Frosted's dam, Fast Cookie (by Deputy Minister), grabbed the Grade 2 Cotillion Handicap at 1 1/16 miles with a 96 Beyer Speed Figure. Fast Cookie is a half-sister to Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Midshipman.

The second dam, Fleet Lady (by Avenue of Flags), took the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes at nine furlongs with a 103 Beyer.

Frosted has excellent tactical speed and that trait should help him greatly considering the expected quick pace in the Derby. He has an acceptable pedigree for 1 1/4 miles and seems to be coming into his own at the right time.

If AMERICAN PHAROAH wins handily in Saturday's Arkansas Derby, Frosted can fly into Louisville under a giant shadow cast by the 2-year-old champion and his stablemate, the undefeated DORTMUND.

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Here are the top WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 3/31/15 - 4/6/15:

1. DORTMUND - 106 - Santa Anita Derby (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - 4Apr15-8SA
2. TWO WEEKS OFF - 104 - Alw 58335N1X - 7 Furlongs - 4Apr15-5KEE
3. BOWMAN'S BEAST - 103 - OC 40k/N3X -N - 1 Mile - 4Apr15-8PRX
3. FROSTED - 103 - Wood Memorial (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - 4Apr15-10AQU
5. DADS CAPS - 102 - Carter Handicap (G1) - 7 Furlongs - 4Apr15-11AQU
6. DOCTOR PETER - 100 - OC 62k/N2Y -N - 1 Mile - 4Apr15-6OP
7. KOBE'S BACK - 99 - Commonwealth Stakes (G3) - 7 Furlongs - 4Apr15-7KEE
7. SOMETHING EXTRA - 99 - Shakertown Stakes (G3) - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 4Apr15-8KEE
9. CAPTAIN SERIOUS - 98 - Alw 70000NC - 7 Furlongs - 2Apr15-8AQU
9. ENCHANTING LADY - 98 - Santa Paula Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 5Apr15-5SA
9. GIMME DA LUTE - 98 - Echo Eddie Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 4Apr15-3SA
9. LUCK WITH A KISS - 98 - Alw 5000s - 6 Furlongs - 3Apr15-4HAW
9. PASS KEY - 98 - OC10k/SAL8k - 6 Furlongs - 3Apr15-5GP
9. RED VINE - 98 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 Mile - 1Apr15-8AQU
9. SYNCHRONOUS - 98 - Alw 25000s - 6 Furlongs - 6Apr15-8PRX
16. TALCO (FR) - 97 - Thunder Road Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 4Apr15-11SA
17. JUBA - 96 - Alw 82000N1X - 7 Furlongs - 4Apr15-6AQU
17. RIVER RUSH - 96 - OC 32k/N3X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 4Apr15-8PIM
19. CARPE DIEM - 95 - Blue Grass Stakes (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - 4Apr15-10KEE
19. GRYVON - 95 - OC 25k/N1X -N - 6 Furlongs - 4Apr15-5GP
19. PEPPER CROWN - 95 - Alw 41118NC - 1 Mile (Tapeta) - 5Apr15-4GG
19. STELLAR WIND - 95 - Santa Anita Oaks (G1) - 1 1/16 Miles - 4Apr15-7SA
23. NAGYS PIGGY BANK - 94 - Wcl 8000 - 6 Furlongs - 1Apr15-1HAW
24. AZ RIDGE - 93 - Wildcat Handicap - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - 4Apr15-7TUP
24. PRINCESS VIOLET - 93 - Madison Stakes (G1) - 7 Furlongs - 4Apr15-6KEE
24. SHATAK - 93 - OC 62k/C -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 3Apr15-8GP
24. WISECRACKER - 93 - Md Sp Wt 57k - 1 1/16 Miles - 4Apr15-3KEE

*DORTMUND's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

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Dan - On saturday feb 28 @ gulf race one at a mile on the turf went to Interpol in 134.95
On the same day War Correspondent went the mile on turf in 134.81 Later in the card Lady Lara went the mile turf distance in 134.03 My question is how WC gets a 96 , LL gets a 97 while going .78 faster and the alw winner in race one who was only .14 off WC time did not get a good enough # to be listed Maybe you have some insight as to why ?
thank you peter

The rail settings were different and that affected the Interpol number.

Race 1:  Interpol - 1:34.95, 84 Beyer (Rail at 72 feet)
Race 6:  War Correspondent - 1:34.81, 96 Beyer (Rail at 0 feet)
Race 10: Lady Lara - 1:34.03, 97 Beyer (Rail at 0 feet)

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Hello Dan,
I kept watching the replays yesterday and when looking at American Pharoah...I compare him to The Factor (2011). In 2011, The Factor blew away the field in the Rebel going to the lead and never looked back. Then, in the Arkansas Derby The Factor was in the 4 post and found himself sitting off the pace leader of JP's Gusto and when making the move began to fade in the final turn for home. Clearly I may be comparing apples to oranges, but when looking at AP's races...this horse found himself on the lead and dictated the race. When Bodemeister ran in the Arkansas Derby the horse was wayyyy on the outside and gunned it out to the lead and again dictated the pace which made it his race. Say AP gets a close to inside post and the speed is on paper...Do you go try to go against AP and beat him or do you believe he is that zensational and is clearly the best horse Baffert has ever trained?
Thanks,
PNR

It's a fair question to ask. I'd love to see American Pharoah rate off another horse and finish with the same gusto he shows when enjoying the early lead. I'm not sure it's going to happen in the Arkansas Derby although I wouldn't be surprised if someone attempts to make him run in the opening half-mile or so. Whenever you can poke a hole in a favorite, you owe it to yourself to try and cash in. If you believe that American Pharoah is a one-dimensional speed horse that will fold when challenged for the lead, take a shot against him.

I think he's a better horse than The Factor. I don't know if he's the best horse Baffert ever trained. The past performances will come out later today and I'll get a better feel for the race at that point.

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For those of you beginning to come down with a dose of Kentucky Derby fever, I've posted the lifetime past performances of the last 22 winners. Let me know if you find any interesting patterns.

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Annie and SR Vegas have compiled a second updated version of "The 2015 MKB Book of Kentucky Derby Prospects." I have attached it to the bottom of this blog post. Enjoy!

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You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

Remember to tune in to DRF LIVE's streaming coverage. I'll be with Matt Bernier recapping, previewing, handicapping and, hopefully, winning.

Here's the schedule:

Wednesday - Friday:  12:30 - 1:30 ET

Saturday:  2:00 ET thru last graded stakes race

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Congrats to Rodney for finishing first in the most recent HandiGambling tournament.


Let's go with Saturday's Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland for this week's exercise.


Rick M's scoresheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.


PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.


SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to streamline all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...

With so many new people attending Dan's Formblog we thought it would be a good time to update the Handigambling Guidelines and Rules as we go forward in 2014.

Let's remember WHY we began the HandiGambling races in the first place. The goal was to share ideas on why we like these horses and why we're betting them the way we are. We are not asking for a novel but if you could spare a sentence or two outlining your handicapping angles and thought processes about wagering, it would be appreciated.

HANDIGAMBLING:

-  Please start your post with  HG or HANDIGAMBLING to better recognize and find your entry.

-  You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose and that is available for that HG race.
Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.

- Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF THE POST.  Remember that posts may start as 'anonymous' or an 'alternate name'. You MUST sign yourself at the end (even if it is the same) This enables the scorekeeper to recognize you .

- (1) ONE ENTRY per person for the Handigambling contest. If you have multiple email addresses, use just ONE for contest purposes.  Multiple entries will be cause for disqualification.

- Separate your analysis from the wager and use the horses # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.

-In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. Dan reserves the right to approve or deny any entries.

- The winner will receive a "60-Card Quarterly Formulator Past Performance Plan"

As an example :

HG 2014
The speed in this race goes to  horses # 1, 4 ,6 ..Ennie , Meenie, and Mo
Since it's a sprint I don't see any closers catching them.. like # 9 Miney.
I think trainer Groucho with the #6 Mo has the best stats in this condition, route to sprint.. just a gut feeling at large odds ML 20-1

HG wager
50$ Ex box 1-6
total $100

Thanks Dan!

Harpo
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A MORE DETAILED ANALYSIS IS ALWAYS APPRECIATED !
 
REMEMBER, IF YOU ARE DECLARED THE WINNER OF THE HANDIGAMBLING EXERCISE; PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM WITH YOUR DRF LOGIN AND PASSWORD IN ORDER TO ACCESS YOUR PRIZE PACKAGE.

ALSO, IF THE WINNER WOULD LIKE TO SELECT THE FOLLOWING WEEK'S RACE, PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM NO LATER THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A FRIDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL)

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DORTMUND.pdf672.3 KB
DERBYWINNERS.pdf901.9 KB
2015 MKB Bio Document 3 31 15.pdf459.01 KB
HGJENNYWILEY.pdf170.96 KB
Copy of Formblog SA Oaks 4-4-15.xls73.5 KB