06/03/2017 9:13PM

Frostmourne holds off Big Score in Penn Mile

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Frostmourne wins the Penn Mile for his first graded stakes victory.

GRANTVILLE, Pa. - Frostmourne has shown promise from the start, winning his maiden first time out and a stakes in his third race. On Saturday, in the Grade 2 Penn Mile at Penn National, he showed further development, settling nicely under Irad Ortiz Jr., and then accelerating through the stretch to win the $500,000 turf race by 1 1/4 lengths over Big Score, who himself was rolling nicely at the wire.

Frostmourne, who was bred and is owned by the Green Lantern Stables of Richard and Sue Masson, is trained in New York by Christophe Clement. After the race Chris Lorieul, Clement's assistant, and Ortiz, showered the colt with praise.

"He is much more mature now, both physically and mentally," Lorieul said. "As a 2-year-old he would get kind of keen, but now he is very professional."

Ortiz, who has been aboard Frostmourne in morning workouts, also has seen a difference in how the son of Speightstown handles himself.

"He has been working so beautifully," Ortiz said. "Last year he could be rank, but now he has settled down."

Ortiz gave Frostmourne a smooth ride. After breaking from the outside post in the nine-horse field, he tucked him into the two or three path before hitting the first turn. Frostmourne began his advance on the far turn and came four wide into the stretch. He burst to the front in midstretch, and he and Big Score were pulling away from the others late.

It was 1 1/2 lengths back from Big Score to third-place finisher Cistron, who pressed a moderate pace outside Time to Travel, setting fractions of 23.00, 47.53, and 1:12.90.

Holiday Stone, who finished fifth, was rallying in the stretch when he tried to go between Cistron and Time to Travel. The hole closed, however, and jockey Luis Saez had to check. Holiday Stone is a horse to keep an eye on next time out.

Frostmourne paid $8.40 to win as the second choice behind California-based Big Score. He stopped the timer in 1:35.04, getting his final furlong in a hair over 12 seconds.

For those keeping score, the 3-year-old filly Dynatail actually went faster in the $200,000 Penn Oaks. She set all of the pace while being timed in 1:34.63. Her splits were 23.06, 48.78, and 1:11.21.

Trainer Tim Yakteen, the trainer of Big Score, was pleased with his colt's effort. Toward the rear of the pack early, he worked his way from between horses early on the far turn.  He was always several lengths behind Frostmourne, but finished well.

"I thought he ran very well, it was a good race," Yakteen said.

It is possible Frostmourne could meet Big Score again in the Grade 1, $1.2 million Belmont Derby on July 8.

Yakteen said earlier this week that if all went well in the Penn Mile, that the 1 1/4 miles of the Belmont Derby was within Big Score's reach. Frostmourne is stabled at Belmont with Clement.

Ortiz had a roller-coaster day on Saturday. He was disqualified from first in the $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup when his mount Bold Thunder ducked outward from a left-handed whip. He came back to set a track record aboard Matt King Coal in the $200,000 Mountainview Stakes and then won the richest race of the day, the Penn Mile.