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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Frosted Rebounds in Wood Memorial


Frosted overcame a wide trip and some doubts about his staying power to run down longshot Tencendur and take the Twinspires.com Wood Memorial.

After coming off a disappointing fourth-place finish in the Fountain of Youth Stakes, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and his team worked  to unearth the reason their colt faded so badly in that race.

"This has been a top, special project for my team, my brother, the grooms," said McLaughlin, who trains Frosted for Godolphin Racing. "We know he has a ton of ability and the last race really made us scratch our heads, asking 'why?' Why would he go to the lead and throw his head up and stop? We did everything we could to change everything we possibly could that we thought went wrong, including the jockey, just because we were changing everything."

Frosted had a tardy beginning in the Wood, leaving him near the back of the pack. Joel Rosario guided him wide and into the clear on the first turn as Toasting Master led the field through moderate fractions of :24.50, :49.04 and 1:13.41, with 2-1 favorite Daredevil stalking in second.
The two front-runners backed down the early tempo on the backstretch, and Frosted got into a comfortable rhythm. He was again forced to go wide around the far turn, and 21-1 shot Tencendur, a New York-bred trained by George Weaver, scooted away at the top of the stretch and got clear. Frosted uncoiled a prolonged rally to collar Tencendur him a sixteenth of a mile from the wire and prevail by two lengths.

"He didn't break that sharp and I didn't really want to send him out of there and be on the lead," said Rosario. "He was always there for me. I tried to get him to the outside, where he'd be comfortable. The whole way, he was taking me. That was a very good race. I wasn't concerned with (Tencendur) because I know when you ask (Frosted), he's always there for you."

Returning $6.40 to win, Frosted increased his bankroll to $846,800 with the winner's share of $600,000. The Godolphin color-bearer earned 100 qualifying points as part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby system and now has 113 total.

Tencendur ran on well to finish second, 2 3/4 lengths clear of El Kabeir in third. He improved from performances on Aqueduct's inner track. He was fourth in the Withers and a fifth in the Gotham, his first start with blinkers. He earned 40 qualifying points toward a spot in the Derby, with his total standing at 41.

"I'm from Louisville and I'd love to run in the Derby," said Weaver. "As long as the horse is in good shape, I'd be inclined to go."

Local hope El Kabeir stuck with the tactics that won him the Gotham, but the John Terranova-trainee couldn't reach the top two after emerging from the back of the pack in the stretch under C.C. Lopez. He increased his qualifying total to 95.

"He was running at the end," said Terranova. "I watched him gallop out and he passed everybody. He was finishing really well, but there wasn't any pace to soften up the front-runners. We'll see how he is and figure it out from there. If he comes back out of this well, I think we'll get a lot stronger pace in a race like the Derby, and he can sit back and close. He's done that twice. I thought he made up a lot of ground there in the stretch."

Trainer Todd Pletcher's Daredevil finished 6 1/4 lengths behind El Kabeir in fourth, and was followed under the line by Tiz Shea D, Toasting Master and Lieutenant Colonel.

Frosted, a Darley home-bred, will remain in New York before shipping to Churchill Downs in advance of the Kentucky Derby, according to McLaughlin.

"Given the way he finished today, I don't think 10 furlongs will be a problem," said McLaughlin. "He's a nice horse; right up there with Cairo Prince as far as the best 3-year-old I've trained at this time of the year. For now, though, we'd like to savor today. It was a special win for us."

Edited NYRA release with additional content by Dick Downey


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