10/16/2015 1:21PM

McLaughlin gives thumbs up after Frosted’s work

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Barbara D. Livingston
Despite a long campaign, including this win in the Pennsylvania Derby, Frosted is holding his weight well, said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Two weeks out from the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, it was time for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin to get a gauge on the readiness of his 3-year-old Frosted for what will be the toughest race of his career.

Frosted gave McLaughlin all positive signs Friday morning with a strong five-furlong workout in 59 seconds over the synthetic surface at the Greentree training facility adjacent to Saratoga Race Course. Frosted had a stablemate prompt him for a portion of the work, which was done clockwise – the opposite direction of how races are run. Clocker Dave Norton caught Frosted’s final quarter in 24.60 seconds and had him galloping out six furlongs in 1:12.

“I did want a good work two weeks out,” McLaughlin said by phone Friday from Saratoga. “That’s why we put a little something with him to get him going, get him on the fast pace. So, I was very pleased, and he came back in good shape. We got a great work, and we’re happy. He’s just doing so well and almost putting on weight. It sounds strange; he is.”

Adding weight certainly is a good sign for Frosted, who has had a busy 3-year-old season. He has raced eight times, with victories in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial in April and the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby in September. In between, he raced against American Pharoah three times, finishing fourth behind him in the Kentucky Derby, second to him in the Belmont Stakes – which sealed American Pharoah’s Triple Crown – and third behind him in the Travers. American Pharoah was second in the Travers, three-quarters of a length behind Keen Ice. It was Frosted who put early pressure on American Pharoah in the Travers, which likely compromised both horses.

 

McLaughlin said the campaign has not had an adverse effect on Frosted, a gray son of Tapit.

“He’s just doing fabulous, and he seems to do better with each race and with each work,” McLaughlin said.

Frosted only started training at Greentree – and going clockwise – since the Saratoga main track closed in early September. McLaughlin said he frequently likes alternating between clockwise and counterclockwise training because he believes it keeps horses sounder.

“They all go left-handed so long that little issues [develop] – left front, right hind,” McLaughlin said. “He’s a very sound horse. No issues.”

Frosted will have one more work at Greentree, presumably next Friday, before vanning along with stablemates Wedding Toast (Distaff) and Sentiero Italia (Filly and Mare Turf) to Keeneland on Oct. 26. Cavorting (Filly and Mare Sprint) is at Belmont Park and will fly to Kentucky the same day, McLaughlin said.

Meanwhile, McLaughlin said Tamarkuz will not contest the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. His owner, Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Stable, is considering giving the horse some time off.