Tuesday, December 13, 2016

New Sire Series: Frosted

A horse born in the wrong generation of racing, Frosted gets a second chance to show his talents in the coming years after retiring to the breeding shed for 2017.

Hitting the track as a 2-year-old in 2014, the same year his sire Tapit got his first classic winner, Frosted lived up to the “third time is the charm” saying when he broke his maiden third time out at Aqueduct after two second place finishes. That eye-catching 5 ¼ length maiden victory was enough to convince his connections to enter him in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes.

Starting what would become a trend in his career, Frosted ran second to Leave the Light On (Horse Greeley) in the Remsen then came back two months later to run second again in the Grade 2 Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes to Upstart (Flatter).

A fourth place finish behind Itsaknockout (Lemon Drop Kid) in the Grade 2 Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes convinced trainer Kiaran McLaughlin to change things up before his next race. After a change in equipment and jockeys, Frosted returned to New York for the Grade 1 Twinspires.com Wood Memorial Stakes to face six others.

In a bunched up field, Frosted was nearly last early on with jockey Joel Rosario aboard. Rosario kept Frosted wide throughout the trip, letting him have clear running room in the stretch where he had to run down Tencendur (Warrior’s Reward) if he was to win his first stakes race. Showing that he had the talent expected of him, Frosted passed Tencendur in the final furlong to not only win his first stakes race but his first Grade 1 as well.


The Wood Memorial victory secured Frosted a spot in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands starting gate. While he was no match for American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) Frosted ran well to finish fourth, just 3 ¼ lengths behind the eventual Triple Crown winner.

Frosted expanded his resume a little more throughout the summer when he finished second to American Pharoah in the Belmont Stakes, giving Tapit two Belmont placers in two years (Creator and Lani would extend that streak in 2016). Next up was a second behind Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red (Afleet Alex) in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy and a third in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes behind Keen Ice (Curlin) after battling American Pharoah most of the race.

With two seconds, a third and a fourth since his previous win five months before, Frosted looked due for trip to the winner's circle in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby. Going off at even-money, Frosted settled in behind the first wave of the field while Mr. Z (Malibu Moon) and Iron Fist (Tapit) pushed each other on the lead. Frosted made it a three way battle as the field turned into the stretch but that didn’t last long with the colt opening up on the lead to win by two lengths over Iron Fist, giving Tapit the exacta.


After an off race in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic where he finished seventh, Frosted headed to Dubai to start his 4-year-old season.

His first start came in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 Sponsored by EGA where viewers around the world were able to see how he’d matured over the winter.

Running closer to the front than normal with jockey William Buick aboard, Frosted was second behind Munaaser (New Approach) until soon after the field entered the stretch. Munasser dropped back as Frosted took the lead with Gold City (Pivotal) in pursuit. The only question in the stretch was how far Frosted would win by as he pulled away from the field, finally crossing the wire five lengths ahead of Gold City in record time.


Frosted entered the Dubai World Cup with big expectations after his record breaking run on the track a month and a half before. But while California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit) easily won the race, Frosted faded to fifth.

Even though the Dubai World Cup hadn’t gone as expected, Frosted easily put it behind him in mid-June when he was entered in the Grade 1 Mohegan Sun Metropolitan Handicap.

In his first start back after his trip to Dubai, Frosted returned to the familiar New York circuit where he settled for an in-between of his old U.S. racing style and his Dubai style by running mid-pack as three horses fought for the lead. Frosted started his move in the far turn and by the time they entered the stretch he was even with the leading Anchor Down (Tapit). It wasn’t long before Frosted hit another gear and left the field in his dust to show his first Dubai race wasn’t a fluke when he won the Met Mile by 14 ¼ lengths.


Receiving a mini-break after that race, Frosted returned again in early August at Saratoga for the Grade 1 Whitney.  Frosted took control of the race in the first turn, setting a fast pace over Noble Bird (Birdstone) and never giving up the lead. While it wasn’t as visually impressive as the Met Mile, Frosted was given an easy ride in the stretch to win by two lengths over Comfort (Indian Charlie).

The Whitney was the last win of Frosted’s career, though not the last race. It looked like Frosted may win the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes a month later at Saratoga but in a controversially confident ride by jockey Joel Rosario he lost the by a head when finishing third behind Shaman Ghost (Ghostzapper). 

In the final race of his career, Frosted headed to California for the first time to run in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic. While improving his finishing position by one placing from 2015, it wasn’t enough to get the win with Frosted finished sixth behind Arrogate (Unbridled’s Song).

Frosted was retired a few days later, shipping to Darley in Lexington, Ky. after a career that saw him win six of 19 starts and finish on the board in eight others for $3,972,800 in earnings.

Frosted is one of 32 stallions by Tapit listed as standing at stud around the world on the Stallion Register website. Also a Grade 1 Wood Memorial winner, Tapit has quickly made his name as a sire with his first crop producing Grade 1 Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner and champion 2-year-old filly Stardom Bound. Every year since Stardom Bound’s 2008 2-year-old season, Tapit has had at least one Grade 1 winner but he hit even bigger heights in 2014.

Breaking the single-season earnings record for a North American sire that year with $16,813,536 in earnings, the stallion has rebroken his own record in both 2015 and 2016 as he continues to hold his place as the continent’s top sire. The stallion stands for the highest fee in North America and one of the highest in the world at $300,000 with his sales averages for weanlings, yearlings and 2-year-olds all sitting well above that fee.

As of Dec. 11, Tapit is the sire of six champions and 54 graded stakes winners in addition to 95 stakes placed horses. However, the world is still waiting to see if he will become a sire-of-sires like his sire Pulpit, grandsire A.P. Indy and great-grandsire Seattle Slew. That question may take a while to answer as his first major stallion son (multiple graded stakes winner Concord Point) entered stud in Kentucky in 2011 making his first crop of foals four this year.  

Frosted is one of seven foals of racing age out of 2003 Grade 2 Cotillion Handicap winner Fast Cookie (Deputy Minister). The mare has proven to be a solid producer with all four of her foals making it to the track also winning at least two races each. Frosted is her only foal so far to win or place in a stakes race but his 2-year-old half-sister by Bernardini recently worked a bullet at Palm Meadows and his 3-year-old half-sister by Bernardini has won two races in a row this fall. Fast Cookie doesn’t have a foal or a weanling coming down the pike but was bred to Tapit in 2016.

Frosted at Darley
Fast Cookie is out of the multiple graded stakes winning mare Fleet Lady (Avenue of Flags), who won 10 races from six to nine furlongs. But it was in the breeding shed that Fleet Lady has made the biggest impact on racing.

Fleet Lady is the dam of another Darley stallion in 2008 champion 2-year-old and Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Midshipman (Unbridled’s Song), who has been in the top ten standing in the first, second and third crop lists since his first crop hit the track in 2014.

In addition to Fast Cookie, Fleet Lady also has another stakes winning daughter in Regia Marina (Medaglia d’Oro), who won a stakes this year. Two other daughters by Touch Gold have produced stakes placed runners with one also producing a Group 2 winner in Running Tall (Stratum). Four-year-old Regia Marina is the final foal out of Fleet Lady, who died in 2016.

Going back a few generations, one finds Carnival Princess (Prince John) as Frosted’s fourth dam. A half-sister to two-time Italian champion Carnauba (Noholme), Carnival Princess produced a champion herself in France’s 1987 champion 3-year-old colt Salse (Topsider) in addition to four other winners. One of those winners was Carnival Delight (Half a Year), who is the dam of stakes winners War Monger (War Chant) and Brickell (Deputy Minister).

Constitution is one of five Tapit G1 winners out of a mare
by a Mr. Prospector grandson
Looking to what lines may work with Frosted, Tapit’s 20 Grade 1 winners comes from a variety of damsires. Two, including Frosted, are out of Deputy Minister mares while four are out of mares by Storm Cat’s sons. Not surprisingly for a U.S. based stallion, Mr. Prospector also features widely on the bottom side of Tapit’s Grade 1 winners with five (25 percent) of them out of mares by his sons or grandsons.

Looking at Frosted’s female family, Unbridled’s Son seems to be a good cross for that line. Frosted’s winning half-sister, With Sugar on Top is, by the stallion as is Fast Cookie’s half-brother Midshipman and stakes placed Addison Run, who is out of Fast Cookie’s half-sister.

Frosted will stand for $50,000 in 2017, so far the most expensive fee of any freshman sire standing in North America.

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