Frosted a short price in small Whit­ney field

Daily Racing Form Saturday Stakes Preview - - FRONT PAGE - – Mike Welsch – Steve An­der­sen – Marcus Hersh

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – De­spite its hefty $1.25 mil­lion purse and the al­lure of a fee­spaid berth in the $6 mil­lion Breed­ers’ Cup Clas­sic in the fall, Satur­day’s Grade 1 Whit­ney Stakes at Saratoga drew only a six-horse field.

Per­haps the pres­ence of Frosted has some­thing to do with that.

Frosted put forth ar­guably the best per­for­mance by any horse this year when he set records for time and mar­gin of vic­tory in win­ning the Grade 1 Metropoli­tan Hand­i­cap on June 11 at Bel­mont Park. Frosted won the Met Mile by 14 1/4 lengths, and his time of 1:32.73 was the fastest mile in the 123 run­nings of the race.

“If he runs back to that, we’re all run­ning for sec­ond money,” said Rick Vi­o­lette, the trainer of Whit­ney con­tender Up­start, beaten 15 1/4 lengths when third in the Met Mile. “But the odds are he won’t run back to that. But he can re­vert and run his nor­mal ‘ A’ race and still win, too. We have to step up.”

Frosted, trained by Kiaran Mclaugh­lin for Godol­phin Rac­ing, drew post 4 and was made the 3-5 morn­ing-line fa­vorite by Saratoga line­maker Travis Stone. Effinex, the win­ner of the Grade 2 Sub­ur­ban on July 9, drew post 6 and was made the sec­ond choice at 7-2.

The oth­ers en­tered were El Kabeir (post 1, 20-1), Com­fort (post 2, 8-1), Up­start (post 3, 10-1), and No­ble Bird (post 5, 10-1).

The Whit­ney is a Win and You’re In race for the Breed­ers’ Cup Clas­sic on Nov. 5 at Santa Anita.

Though Frosted was magnificent in win­ning the Met Mile around one turn, his two pre­vi­ous graded stakes wins came in races run at 1 1/8 miles around two turns. Last year at 3, Frosted won the Grade 1 Wood Memo­rial and Grade 2 Penn­syl­va­nia Derby, though both vic­to­ries came against mod­est fields.

“We feel com­fort­able and con­fi­dent the mile and an eighth is not go­ing to be an is­sue,” Mclaugh­lin said at the draw, held Tues­day night at Sperry’s, a down­town Saratoga Springs restau­rant.

Frosted has yet to win at Saratoga, fin­ish­ing sec­ond in a maiden race at 2, sec­ond in the Jim Dandy, and third in the Travers last year. In the Travers, he pressed Amer­i­can Pharoah, tac­tics that were em­ployed by jockey Jose Lez­cano, who only picked up the mount when reg­u­lar rider Joel Rosario was in­jured in a spill ear­lier on the card.

Rosario has a 3-2-0 record on Frosted from seven rides.

Effinex fin­ished ahead of Frosted the only time the two faced each other. That was in the Breed­ers’ Cup Clas­sic, where Effinex fin­ished sec­ond, 6 1/2 lengths be­hind Amer­i­can Pharoah, while Frosted was sev­enth, 6 1/4 lengths be­hind Effinex.

Effinex fin­ished fourth in last year’s Wood­ward Stakes at Saratoga.

No­ble Bird fin­ished last in the 2015 Whit­ney. He does look like the pri­mary speed in this year’s edi­tion.

“It would ap­pear that way,” trainer Mark Casse said.

With only six run­ners in the field, $55,000 in purse money re­served for the sev­enth- and

eighth-place fin­ish­ers will re­vert back to the New York Rac­ing As­so­ci­a­tion.

The Whit­ney is the 10th of 12 races on a card that in­cludes the Grade 1 Test. First post is 1 p.m. East­ern.

Saratoga: Re­match in Test

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The first three fin­ish­ers from last month’s 1 1/16-mile Mother Goose at Bel­mont Park – Off the Tracks, Lewis Bay, and Light­stream – will meet again at seven fur­longs in Satur­day’s Grade 1 Test Stakes at Saratoga.

Mak­ing her fourth start, Light­stream suf­fered her first loss in the Grade 1 Mother Goose. She was beaten 4 1/2 lengths by Off the Tracks and a length by Lewis Bay. But trainer Brian Lynch is con­fi­dent that Light­stream can turn the ta­bles on both ri­vals while turn­ing back in dis­tance for the Test.

Lynch said he thought Light­stream was not “100 per­cent in proper con­di­tion” go­ing into the Mother Goose. Light­stream blew out three fur­longs in an easy 36 sec­onds here Wed­nes­day un­der jockey Joel Rosario and looked very sharp.

“With all the rain this week­end, we all missed some works we had sched­uled, and I felt blow­ing her out a lit­tle three­eighths this morn­ing to open up her car­bu­re­tors would be per­fect, and she did it very eas­ily with Joel,” Lynch said. “I make no ex­cuses for her on Satur­day.”

Light­stream, Lewis Bay, and Off the Tracks will break ad­ja­cent to one an­other in posts 5, 6, and 7 in the eight-horse field for the Test. The re­main­der of the field is Paola Queen (post 1), One True Kiss (2), po­ten­tial fa­vorite Ka­reena (3), Mal­ibu Stacy (4), and Kins­ley Kisses (8).

The Test, for 3-year-old fil­lies, is one of five stakes on Satur­day, in­clud­ing the Grade 1 Whit­ney and three stakes on the grass – the Grade 3 Waya and the re­stricted Lure and De La Rose.

Grade 1 win­ners Ball Danc­ing and Photo Call are among the 10 fil­lies and mares en­tered to go 1 1/2 miles in the Waya. Ball Danc­ing is seek­ing her first vic­tory since cap­tur­ing the Grade 1 Jenny Wi­ley over yield­ing ground at Keeneland in the spring of 2015, hav­ing failed to hit the board in four sub­se­quent starts. Photo Call, the win­ner of the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive last fall at Santa Anita, cap­tured the Grade 3 Orchid this spring at Gulf­stream Park.

Lynch will also be in ac­tion ear­lier Satur­day when he sends out the 2-year-old Brook­lyn Bobby for his much-an­tic­i­pated ca­reer de­but in a 1 1/16-mile maiden race on the grass. Brook­lyn Bobby, named af­ter the leg­endary trainer Bobby Frankel, is thought to be the first horse sired by Euro­pean cham­pion Frankel to run in the U.S. Brook­lyn Bobby is out of the mare Bal­ance, who is a half­sis­ter to 2010 Horse of the Year Zeny­atta.

“I’m ex­cited to run a horse with a pedi­gree like his,” said Lynch. “He’s ob­vi­ously come over with a lot of hype. The 2-year-olds by Frankel have al­ready shown to be very pre­co­cious horses, and I’m ex­pect­ing to see a big ef­fort out of him. We’ve worked him against some very good older horses like Grand Arch to get a feel for him, and he’s held his own. I’m qui­etly con­fi­dent his class and pedi­gree will show up on Satur­day.”

Del Mar: Sorrento Stakes

DEL MAR, Calif. – The maiden Cham­pagne Room was sup­ple­mented to Satur­day’s $200,000 Sorrento Stakes for 2-year-old fil­lies on Wed­nes­day at a cost of $2,000. For trainer Peter Eur­ton, mak­ing the in­vest­ment was an easy de­ci­sion.

“She’s do­ing too good,” he said.

Cham­pagne Room will be part of a small field in the Grade 2 Sorrento Stakes, which is run at 6 1/2 fur­longs. The race is ex­pected to be led by Miss South­ern Miss, the run­nerup in the Lan­daluce Stakes at Santa Anita on July 9.

Cham­pagne Room fin­ished sec­ond to Mor­gan­ite, beaten 1 1/2 lengths, in her only start, a maiden race at five fur­longs here July 16. From Eur­ton’s per­spec­tive, the race was too short for Cham­pagne Room.

“The five-eighths race was like a work,” Eur­ton said. “She didn’t get to run much. She gal­loped out well.”

By Bro­ken Vow, Cham­pagne Room races for Sharon Ale­sia, Joe Ciaglia, and the Ex­lineBorder part­ner­ship. She was pur­chased for $310,000 at the Ocala Breed­ers’ Sales Co. sale of 2-year-olds in train­ing in April.

The prospec­tive field for the Sorrento in­cludes the maid­en­race win­ners Aun­t­jenn and Back Off along with Un­for­giv­able U, who was third in the Juan Gon­za­lez Memo­rial Stakes at the Oak Tree at Pleasan­ton meet­ing on July 2.

Mor­gan­ite will miss the race be­cause of ill­ness and will be pointed for the $300,000 Del Mar Debu­tante on Sept. 3, trainer John Sadler said.

The $150,000 La Jolla for 3-year-olds on turf also will be run Satur­day. Among those ex­pected for the Grade 2 race are the top two fin­ish­ers from the Ocean­side Stakes on open­ing day, Mon­ster Bea and Moonlight Drive.

Mountaineer: W.VA. Derby

De­part­ing is en­tered in the sev­enth race Satur­day at Mountaineer, the $200,000 West Vir­ginia Gov­er­nor’s Cup. De­part­ing has been to Mountaineer be­fore, in 2013, when he won the West Vir­ginia Derby.

Tom Drury trains De­part­ing now, but Al Stall trained him then, and one race af­ter De­part­ing starts on Satur­day, Stall will try to win the Grade 2, $750,000 West Vir­ginia Derby for the sec­ond time. On Fri­day at Saratoga, Stall will put Fore­vamo on a van bound for Ch­ester, W.VA., with hopes that the colt can du­pli­cate De­part­ing’s suc­cess.

“We’re do­ing the ex­act same ev­ery­thing we did with De­part­ing,” Stall said. “He’s even in the same stall here De­part­ing was in.”

Fore­vamo drew post 11 for Satur­day’s 1 1/8-mile race and will have Florent Ger­oux in the irons for the third straight race. Ger­oux rode him when he fin­ished a clos­ing sec­ond to Sharp Azteca in the Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs and was aboard for a three-quar­ter­length al­lowance win June 25 at Churchill.

“We gave him a breather af­ter the Pat Day Mile,” Stall said. “We de­cided to shut him down and try to use that non­win­ner­sof-two con­di­tion at the end of Churchill, and boom, the race showed up just right for him. That was a good race for him. He just gal­loped past those horses and then kind of waited on them. Florent said, ‘Next time I ride him, I’ll make my move later.’ ”

Fore­vamo be­haved sim­i­larly in his win be­fore the al­lowance race, the Jean Lafitte last fall at Delta Downs, where he swooped to the lead and then seemed to wait on his com­pe­ti­tion.

“Hope­fully, that’s some­thing he just grows out of,” said Stall.

Fore­vamo is by Un­cle Mo. The Brit­tlyn Sta­ble of Eve­lyn and Mau­rice Benoit paid $320,000 for him at an April sale of 2-year-olds in train­ing last year. Fore­vamo lost two maiden races be­fore win­ning the Jean Lafitte and has won only twice in nine starts, but he was sec­ond to Gun Run­ner in the Risen Star at Fair Grounds and had a wide trip when fifth in the Louisiana Derby. His con­nec­tions have long had Satur­day’s race marked on their cal­en­dars, and Fore­vamo should be set for a con­tend­ing per­for­mance at a fair price.

The West Vir­ginia Derby is part of an all-stakes card with $1.65 mil­lion in purses that be­gins at 2 p.m. East­ern. The lo­cal derby has a sched­uled post time of 5:21 and has Cupid, drawn on the rail, as the 3-1 morn­ing-line fa­vorite.

BAR­BARA D. LIV­INGSTON

Effinex is the 7-2 morn­ing-line sec­ond choice for the Whit­ney.

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