04/04/2015 7:40PM

Changes pay off for Frosted in Wood Memorial

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Barbara D. Livingston
Frosted, with Joel Rosario aboard, wins the Wood Memorial by two lengths Saturday.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin pulled out all the stops when it came to preparing Frosted for Saturday’s Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, and now his next stop will be Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May.

Frosted, who inexplicably flopped in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park in February, rebounded in a big way Saturday, rallying from off the pace while wide to win the $1 million Wood Memorial by two lengths over longshot Tencendur.

It was another 3 3/4 lengths back to El Kabeir in third. El Kabeir finished 6 1/4 lengths in front of Daredevil, the favorite among a trio of 2-1 shots. Tiz Shea D, Toasting Master, and Lieutenant Colonel completed the order of finish.

The win was worth 100 qualifying points to Frosted, thus earning him a spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby on May 2. Tencendur, who earned 40 points for finishing second, also earned enough points to get into the Derby. El Kabeir, who had enough points to qualify for the Derby before the Wood, also could move on to the Kentucky Derby if his connections elect.

The Wood Memorial has not produced a top-three Kentucky Derby finisher since Funny Cide and Empire Maker ran 1-2 in 2003. That covers 25 starters. Frosted will try to break that jinx in four weeks.

Frosted had finished fourth in the Fountain of Youth, stopping suddenly in the stretch after cruising to the lead. A frustrated McLaughlin made several changes.

Guessing that Frosted might have displaced, he had a throat procedure known as a “Llewellyn” performed on Frosted. McLaughlin put three strong workouts into the colt, including a move in which he put two horses in front of Frosted and had the horse run by them. He made a rider change from Irad Ortiz Jr. to Joel Rosario. Finally, he sent Frosted back to Aqueduct, a track over which he won his maiden and ran second in the Grade 2 Remsen last fall.

“We did it all, and it all came together just perfect,” McLaughlin said. “We got paid off today, all our hard work and decision making.”

Frosted was four wide and near the back of the pack in the early stages of the Wood as Toasting Master set the pace, stalked by Daredevil and Tencendur, who was three wide. The half-mile fraction was a pedestrian 49.04 seconds, part of that into a stiff headwind.

Though wide, Frosted was in the clear, not getting dirt kicked back into his face.

“I got him to the outside to make it comfortable for him,” Rosario said. “He was taking me there the whole way. I waited for the last minute to go on with him.”

Tencendur, under Jose Ortiz, moved by Toasting Master in upper stretch, but Frosted caught Tencendur inside the sixteenth pole and drew clear.

Frosted, a son of Tapit owned by Godolphin Racing, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.31 and returned $6.40.

“We went wide, but he was out of trouble and in the clear,” McLaughlin said. “It was a very good race. I don’t care how he did it; to get here first was most important in this race.”

:: DERBY WATCH: Top 20 from Jay Privman and Mike Watchmaker

:: ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays

Tencendur, who lagged behind the field in the Gotham and eventually finished fifth, was put into Saturday’s race early by Jose Ortiz by design, according to trainer George Weaver. The tactics paid off with a runner-up finish that likely will land Tencendur in the Derby.

“I know how hard it is to get a horse worthy enough of going to the Kentucky Derby, and I thought he ran well enough to think he’s worthy of it,” said Weaver, who trains the New York-bred Tencendur for Phil Birsh.

El Kabeir, the winner of the Jerome and Gotham stakes, was last with a half-mile to go under C.C. Lopez but came with a decent run to finish third. His connections likely will point to the Kentucky Derby as well.

“He was running at the end. I watched him gallop out around the turn,” said John Terranova, the trainer of El Kabeir. “He was finishing well; he really didn’t have any strong pace to soften up any of the front-runners. We’ll have to take it all in and see how he is and figure it out from there.”

DrSmoke120 More than 1 year ago
Brilliant effort. Wide all the way and won for fun. Liking him a lot, looking like a nice group...exciting...should be some prices available on quality horses.
StockPicker More than 1 year ago
Also he's one of a few who have beyered over 100......
David Benning More than 1 year ago
more than few, but none named carpe diem materiality twice upstart twice frosted pharoah probably twice dortmund twice firing line six 100+ runners
StockPicker More than 1 year ago
“El Kabeir watching the replay several times he actually ran well. However there was no pace. If you noticed he galloped out very nicely after the finish. He's going to get a much more lively pace to run at in the Derby. Don't think he can win however I will be using in all plays.
Johnny Matheis More than 1 year ago
The only thing that will get me off Frosted now is if the trainer thinks enough of Imperia to put him in the race along side, meaning Kiaren thinks they're nearly equal, and I'd then go with the fresher one. Of course, since I already have Imperia in a future pool, I'll probably not bother, and stick with Frosted, unless the odds are huge on Imperia (if he goes in, which I doubt). Kiaren, usually a top of the line trainer of older runners, doesn't enter in the derby like other trainers. If he goes in, I think he's got something. But don't listen to me. I want to be the only one to bet him.
saratogajunkie More than 1 year ago
Imperia??? Not in derby field.
David Benning More than 1 year ago
There are worse plays, he could catch a small piece
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
remember the good old days when horses that won gr1 races at 1 1/8 use to run them in 1:46 or so? somethings wrong!
Matthew Hood More than 1 year ago
Well considering that the Stakes record for the Wood is 1:47.16, you may be remembering incorrectly, and that record was recent in 2005. Look at the times from the 60's-80's. Times were 1:49-1:50.
David Benning More than 1 year ago
guess what? the tracks are much deeper now and safer. But slower. There are some quality stock being bred again. Last year and this year.
Jade Bamford More than 1 year ago
Joe good point about EK and these "trolls" in here have not cashed a winning exotic bet in years if ever. I know from cashing exotics with Animal Kingdom and Nehro.. Orb and Golden Soul and Chrome and Commanding Curve. You have to handicap the Kentucky Derby from a pace stand point. A front runner will not win this race. The winner and place usually comes from mid pack - near the back of the pack. Looks like Frosted, Mutabji, and EK will be flying late and picking up the pieces. I am hoping Tencendur goes in KD sets a suicidal pace to help these guys chances. Year in and out there is horses like Bodemeister , Verrazano, this year American Pharoah fits that bill for me. They will be heavily bet and won't finish the race in the top spot. So for these guys to sit here and say a horse that runs like EK doe not stand a chance shows they are handicapping novices. Thanks to those clowns for adding to my exotic pools =)
Jade Bamford More than 1 year ago
MY Derby Super Box: Dortmund, Firing Line, El Kabeir, Frosted, Mubtahij, Carpe Deim..
saratogajunkie More than 1 year ago
May not see EK in Derby...owners also have American Pharaoh... Would like to see him in...deserves it. As far as commanding curve and golden soul...they picked q good time to race their only good races...don't think curve ever hit the board again
Joe Seba More than 1 year ago
Excellent prep race for “El Kabeir”. The pace of the Derby should set up just right for him and he looks ready.
stockmann9914 . More than 1 year ago
Your kidding?
Chuck Seddio More than 1 year ago
cmon joe you have to get real,el is a nice horse but the only reason he is going to Kentucky is for the owner to sip mint juleps.el,right now is a tier below the top 3 yr olds,he really has no legitimate shot.how many prep races does he need?
Matthew Hood More than 1 year ago
How many Derby winners have we heard the same thing about? Quite a few.
Paul F More than 1 year ago
not with my money
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
I would agree with you with giving EK a shot in the Derby. With his experience getting dirt in his face and being able to pass horses , he definitely has a shot if the pace in the Derby is fast. But to call the Wood a prep. nah.......
Raymond Felder More than 1 year ago
IF YOU NEW HOW TO READ A RACING FORM, ALL THE SIGNS POINTED TO FROSTED. MY FIGURES ON PAPER SAID EL KABEIR WAS THE ONE TO BEAT. I DIDNT LIKE THE RIDE HE GOT FROM LOPEZ, BUT WHAT DO I KNOW.
joe d More than 1 year ago
did you like the ride he got in the gotham(el keibier)? because it was the same ride, but it didnt work this time. now, do they go to the derby thinking lets use his speed? or come from behind like they did in the last two. if you ask me, i think they took the horse out of his original game, which is speed out of the gate. already the derby is shaping up with speed again!! what to do???
Raymond Felder More than 1 year ago
YOUR RIGHT. TELL ME IF I SAW IT CORRECT? I THOUGHT EL KEIBIER WAS UP CLOSE EARLY, SAW THAT THE 7 HORSE WASNT ABOUT TO COME BACK TO HIM,EASED KEIBIER BACK TO FAR, THEN CAME LATE. FROSTED WITH A TON OF SPEED DIDNT HAVE ANY TROUBLE WITH A SLOW PASS.
Raymond Felder More than 1 year ago
SLOW PACE
[removed] More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dont think i can help you there. Try somebody else.
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
LOL!
[removed] More than 1 year ago
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Mark D More than 1 year ago
Lets all agree to NEVER respond to Anonymous' stupid comments again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
also lets all agree to never respond to Tommy... different anon here signed doc working on getting a legit sign in...not just anon sorry
Bob More than 1 year ago
Fixed or not there is still a WPS finisher. You mean we would win if it wasn't ?? Haha