09/04/2016 1:11PM

Woodward's top four finishers could meet again in BC Classic

Barbara D. Livingston
The top four finishers of The Woodward on Saturday were separated by only a neck.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Though decisions are far from finalized, the top four finishers from Saturday’s Grade 1 Woodward Stakes could meet again in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 5.

Shaman Ghost, Mubtaahij, Frosted, and Breaking Lucky were separated by a neck at the wire in a race where 2-5 favorite Frosted had an extremely wide trip after breaking slowly.

While Shaman Ghost was the winner, Kiaran McLaughlin, the trainer of second- and third-place finishers Mubtaahij and Frosted, felt Frosted ran the best race.

“We were the best horse, finished third,” McLaughlin said Sunday morning. “We ran forty feet farther than the winner, gave the winner four pounds and the runner-up six pounds. So, anyway you look at it, we were the best. We’re disappointed in the results; we didn’t feel he could get beat even with all those variables.”

McLaughlin said Frosted came out of the race in good order, noting he was nickering when he returned to the Greentree Training Center immediately after the race, similar to what he did after winning the Grade 1 Whitney.

“That’s a good sign,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin said that no decision has been made on what’s next for Frosted, but he said the horse would “probably” skip the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup _and the Grade 1 Kelso _ on Oct. 8 and point to the Breeders’ Cup.

McLaughlin said the ultimate decision whether to point Frosted to the Classic at 1 1/4 miles or the $1 million Dirt Mile would be made by Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum, the head of Godolphin Racing. Jimmy Bell, Godolphin’s U.S. representative, said Sheikh Mohammed is “dialed in” when it comes to Frosted.

“It’s great to have him that interested,” Bell said.

Frosted’s victories in the Metropolitan Handicap and the Whitney _ both Grade 1 races _ had him in discussion for Horse of the Year, a title that he could make a case for by running in the Classic against horses such as California Chrome. Frosted is 0 for 3 at 1 1/4 miles, but McLaughlin seems undeterred by that stat.

“If it was a mile and a quarter yesterday, we would have won,” McLaughlin said. “But again, it’s a mile or a mile and a quarter.”

Jockey Joel Rosario didn’t use the whip on Frosted because the horse “responds in a negative way” to being whipped, “so he didn’t hit him,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin did say that Woodward runner-up Mubtaahij “ran great” and would start next in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Mubtaahij has run only twice since finishing second to California Chrome in the Dubai World Cup, that being a third in the Suburban at Belmont and the Woodward.

Jimmy Jerkens has two horses pointing to the Classic. Shaman Ghost stepped up to win his first U.S. Grade 1 in the Woodward after winning the Grade 2 Brooklyn earlier in the year and running fifth in the Grade 2 Suburban.

In the Woodward, Shaman Ghost was racing on Lasix for the first time which “didn’t hurt,” he said.

Jerkens said that Shaman Ghost came out of the race well and he would discuss with owner Frank Stronach and his racing representatives whether to run in the Jockey Club Gold Cup or train up to the Classic. The spacing between the Woodward and the Classic is nine weeks. It was eight weeks from the Suburban to the Woodward.

“It does seem like you can train him to a race,” Jerkens said.

Shaman Ghost earned a 106 Beyer Speed Figure for the Woodward performance.

Jerkens also has Effinex, the Suburban winner, to run in the Jockey Gold Cup as a prep for the Classic. Effinex finished second to American Pharoah in last year’s Classic.

Breaking Lucky, who traded decisions with Shaman Ghost during the 2015 Canadian Triple Crown series, could also be pointed to the Classic, according to trainer Reade Baker. Breaking Lucky was pursuing the pace-setting Bradester early and was still hanging around late, getting beat a neck while running fourth.

“We were thrilled, race of his life,” Baker said Sunday.

Baker said he would discuss the future with his owners, Gunpowder Farms, but said he would like to point to the Classic.

“I think he’ll improve off this race,” Baker said. “He’s getting good right now, he’s much better than he was last year.”

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Jyonni Sincere 4 months ago
Out of the first 4   I rank  S. Ghost, Taahij and Lucky  Frosted is the forth best out of these horses
Tyren 4 months ago
That Frosted was that close given weight differences and no whip- none of these horses need bother going to Santa Anita. They are all space filler. Maybe Frosted, maybe Effinex. Shaman got a ticket. The rest are just horses in the way.
Ray Sousa 4 months ago
If there was any doubt that big races can be let's say run funny . It's no longer a doubt after the Travers and this race . I would never let Rosario sit on Frosted again .let alone ride him in a race .disgraceful ride . Funny how Martin Garcia got booted off both American Pharoah and Arrogate after he lets say rode them poorly in their first race .at least Baffert punishes jockeys that fool around.
Also unless the detention barn is brought back and horses are on the grounds one week before big races .testing is ineffective .and we will continue to see op claimer win Gr1 races . This out of competition testing is absolutely ineffective . If a horse is tested and comes back positive a trainer just claims the horse was being treated and was not going to be racing .they can hide the horse at a farm  and I don't trust the industry to spend the money to pursue proper testing . Only a detention barn with 24 hour surveillance and law enforcement security's works .period.
Shawn Kennedy 4 months ago
Connections of a horse can compete without a whip- if Frosted doesn't respond to a whip I wonder why they don't do that. Makes it much easier on the betting public who must be confused after betting on a favourite.
Robin Herman 4 months ago
If they run in the BC Classic they will again be up against California Chrome who defeated them in Dubai.  With Shamans Ghost and Arrogate it should be a great Breeder's Cup.
Gunner 4 months ago
The East Coast horses tend to NOT run so well in SoCal to begin with, unless clearly superior.
Seems a fools errand.
btr10000 rd 4 months ago
Watched the replay several times.   Okay I hear the no-whip excuse from Mr Rosario, but I didn't see any other other technique applied.  There was no vigorous pursuit of victory.  If this was Australia there would be an "inquiry" into his performance after the fact.   Wonder what the Beyer number will be?   If its very high like 120, maybe I'll understand this finish by Frosted and Mr Rosario.  It reminds me of the famous movie, movie name escapes me,  but the jockey came back from loosing by a nose.  The trainer goes off wildly on the jockey about the lack off effort to run short by a nose.   The trainer wanted blood in such a loss.   Anyway if the Beyer comes back just 105 or so then  I am very disappointed here.  A five horse win photo usually shows there was not much racing going on in the middle parts of the race.  Another Graded race to put with the Chrome race a few weeks ago,  result may be meaningless for future events....RDavisbettorselecst.   
Gunner 4 months ago
The jock took him 8 wide when there were only 4 horses in front of him.
Not his day - doesn't cut it!
Alice Bauml 4 months ago
Agreed. I can't understand having the horse 12 wide and once the horse made it to the front, Rosario stopped trying altogether. Brings back memories of  Yonkers and Roosevelt in the 70's. A most curiously run race by Joel indeed!

Ray Sousa 4 months ago
Anyway you look at it it was a farse . Just like the travers.bad ride by Rosarionever tried to win the race. He came out flat footed .easily can be caused by jockey .then took back to inside getting all the kick back as can be seen on the horse . Then the horse started to move up under no urging .so Rosario decided to take him 8 wide into the turn .and then did not give the horse an energetic ride in the stretch . Trackus shows the horse traveled  40 feet more than the winner ..I'm not even going into the op claimer of the travers .that ran faster than Secretariat.