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Kiaran McLaughlin A Hero to Be Proud Of
Updated - 4/20/2015
Peter Beagle wrote in The Last Unicorn, “Great heroes need great sorrow and burdens, or half their greatness goes unnoticed. It is all part of the fairy tale.”

Kiaran McLaughlin has always been a hero to his daughter Erin for his hard work and dedication to the sport that has encompassed his entire life. But it took the “great sorrow and burden” of Multiple Sclerosis for the rest of the world to notice McLaughlin’s heroism. And now all that is left is the fairy tale.

And that fairy tale could be written this year when McLaughlin saddles Godolphin Racing’s Wood Memorial winner Frosted in the Kentucky Derby. Last year, the McLaughlin family’s fairy tale ended early when they lost their leading contender Cairo Prince to injury. This year, McLaughlin’s one-time four-horse Derby arsenal looked as if it would fire nothing but blanks, with Ocean Knight, Imperia, and Classy Class all falling off the Derby trail, and Frosted turning in one of the most baffling performances seen in a long time when he let sure victory slip away in the Fountain of Youth Stakes, finishing an ignominious fourth.

But McLaughlin has since toyed and tinkered with the colt, using all his skills as a horseman, in an attempt to unlock the mystery of the Fountain of Youth. He had only one shot at it in the Wood Memorial, and wound up unveiling the horse everyone in the barn thought he was from the day he arrived.

And now McLaughlin has a chance to finish the fairy tale, 10 years after his very first Kentucky Derby starter, Closing Argument, finished second at odds of 71-1, beaten by 50-1 shot Giacomo.

While the excitement is starting to build for Erin, she doesn’t need a Kentucky Derby victory for her dad to be her hero. He attained that status a long time ago. But she wants it so badly for him and for Sheikh Mohammed.

“My dad is my hero, regardless of whether he had MS,” Erin said. “I think every girl’s dad is their hero at some point in their life, and he’s always been a role model for me, just for his work ethics. He’s always been hard working and provided for us. He’s also very honest, and that’s something I’ve always admired about him.

“Adding to that the fact that he has Multiple Sclerosis is so inspiring. He just deals with it in such a positive way and wants to influence other people who have been recently diagnosed with it, always wanting to be positive. He’s had every reason to be negative and feel bad for himself and he’s never felt that way and that’s what inspires me when I’m having a rough day, knowing that it’s nothing compared to what he’s going through. Hopefully his story inspires others that they can still continue to achieve their goals, even if they have setbacks.”

After he was diagnosed, McLaughlin went into a state of depression and spent entire days just laying on his couch, unable to cope with the devastating news and the uncertainty of his and his family’s future. Getting up early every morning his entire life and going to the barn and working with the horses required great physical and mental fortitude, and it was extremely tough for someone in that world to suddenly find out his once strong body had deserted him and that his future as a hands-on trainer was in jeopardy.

But his family (his wife Letty, son Ryan, and Erin) and his close-knit crew, including longtime assistants Artie Magnuson, his brother Neal and Neal’s wife Trish, all rallied around him, and McLaughlin was able to turn his depression into determination to battle through his illness.

McLaughlin had trained for several years in Dubai for Sheikh Mohammed and Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Stable before returning to the States, but when Shadwell began to go in a different direction after McLaughlin’s illness, spreading their horses around to several trainers, there was great uncertainty as to what direction the stable was going, especially with McLaughlin having to battle his MS. But he kept hustling and eventually began lining up new clients.

It was 2003 and McLaughlin was officially on his own with a public stable, while still training several horses for Sheikh Mohammed and Sheikh Hamdan.

In the winter of 2005, a van pulled up to McLaughlin’s barn at Palm Meadows training center and out walked a light-framed, nondescript-looking colt from Uruguay with a thick winter coat, who made absolutely no impression on anyone. Their only thought was just trying to figure out what kind of allowance conditions they could find for him. They could not believe this horse was the hero of Uruguay, sweeping the Triple Crown with devastating ease before being sold to Sheikh Hamdan.

That colt was named Invasor, and he would go on to win six consecutive grade I stakes, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Dubai World Cup and be named Horse of the Year in 2006, eventually being elected into the Hall of Fame. That same year, McLaughlin won the Belmont Stakes with Shadwell’s diminutive colt Jazil.

McLaughlin had persevered through his adversity and built his stable into one of the most successful in the country.

The year before, he nearly pulled off the greatest Kentucky Derby upset since Donerail in 1913 when Closing Argument was beaten a half-length in the final jumps.

Erin McLaughlin, now 24, was 14 at the time and was witnessing her first Kentucky Derby.

“I couldn’t believe that one,” she said. “It was so close and he was such a big longshot. My mom and I didn’t think we had any chance. When someone said, ‘He’s moving up; you guys are looking good,’ I went, ‘No that can’t be us, we have no chance.’ We were so shocked and so excited to be second and to come so close. It shows you anything can happen once you get in that starting gate. Every horse has a chance even if you don’t think they do.”

The fairy tale script was right there in their grasp, but what could have been one of the biggest surprised endings in Derby history was spoiled in the final paragraph.

“Even though we lost, that’s why I love the Derby, because of the backgrounds of all the people behind the scenes who have these touching stories that get out there to the public,” Erin said.

Erin vaguely remembers the ordeal her father had to endure after being diagnosed with MS, but over the years has come to admire his determination in conquering his affliction, despite the early anguish that accompanied it and the debilitating effect it had on his body and his mind.

“I was only 7 years old at the time and I really don’t remember it that well,” she said. “I do remember bringing him a present in the hospital, but I didn’t really understand what was going on. Another thing I remember was Rick Nichols (Shadwell’s vice president and general manager) coming to visit for Halloween around the time my dad was diagnosed and was going through his depression. Rick let me go trick or treating in his limousine and I thought that was the coolest thing. That was my one memory of that time.

“He’s had his ups and downs and I feel he’s doing well now and has been very fortunate in that he hasn’t had any major setbacks. I feel he’s been lucky because a lot of people with it are worse off. He does exercise and sometimes he has to use a cane. It doesn’t really hurt him, because that side of his body is numb and he drags his foot.”

Now, 10 years after his first Kentucky Derby and nine years after his amazing year with Invasor and Jazil (who finished in a dead-heat for fourth in the Kentucky Derby), McLaughlin has a big chance to get that first Derby victory with the handsome Frosted.

“He’s so beautiful,” Erin said. “Even if he wasn’t a good horse I think he’s the most beautiful horse I’ve ever seen. He’s just stunning, and I feel as if he knows it. We just have to knock on wood over the next 12 days. I see One Lucky Dane got hurt and is out. I feel badly for anybody who loses a Derby horse, especially after what we went through last year with Cairo Prince.

“I hate to get too excited, but so far everything has gone smoothly. I can’t even imagine what Todd (Pletcher) felt like losing Uncle Mo the day before the Derby. There is so much stress, and people outside the game don’t know that. We love these horses; they’re part of the family and people don’t always understand that. That’s why it is such an honor just to get in the starting gate.”

Unlike some children of trainers who follow in their father’s footsteps, Erin is content to be part of the team from a distance, but she still loves being involved in the sport and currently works for the Breeders’ Cup in Lexington, Ky.

“I’ve always been into it behind the scenes,” she said. “I don’t ride and I’m not very hands-on with the horses. My dad always enjoyed the fact that I was into it, because it became a common bond we had, whereas my younger brother growing up wasn’t really that into it. He’s gotten more and more into it now that he’s gotten older, and I think that was the case with me, too. Most of my best friends are all racetrack people through the game.”

Over the years we have seen the powers of the Derby gods, as they guided Mrs. Frances Genter, Paul Mellon and Mack Miller, Cal Partee, Charlie Whittingham and Bill Shoemaker, Meadow Stable, Art Sherman, Shug McGaughey and the Phipps and Janney families, Arthur Hancock, and Cinderella stories like the Chapmans, Sakatoga Stable, and Chip Woolley to victory.

If the Derby gods are carefully studying the horses this year and are looking for another worthy recipient of their powers, that some call fate, then they should give an extra close look at the popular and always straightforward Kiaran McLaughlin and his struggle to get here, not to mention all the work he has put into Frosted, putting blinkers on, then adjusting his blinkers, switching jockeys and teaching him to sit behind horses in his works, and having a minor surgical procedure performed to free his airways.

The 54-year-old McLaughlin, born, raised, and educated in Kentucky, has dreamed of winning the Kentucky Derby since he was 10 years old.

“Even though I would be so excited to win the Derby, I just want him to win, because I know what a dream it is for him,” Erin said. “And he deserves to have that someday. Maybe this year or somewhere down the line. I can’t even imagine how excited he would be; he would just die.”

Since purchasing Worldly Manner privately in the fall of 1998 and running him in the ’99 Kentucky Derby, Sheikh Mohammed has spent millions upon millions of dollars trying to win the Derby, with no success. It seems inevitable that Godolphin and McLaughlin, who has had the support of both Sheikh Mohammed and Sheikh Hamdan for so many years, through all the ups and downs, would one day travel that hallowed path to the Kentucky Derby winner’s circle together.

“One of the reasons why my dad took Cairo Prince’s injury so hard last year was because Godolphin had bought into the horse and he just felt terrible about what happened,” Erin said. “So I know if he were to win it for anyone, he’d want it to be for them. Sheikh Mohammed can buy anything in the world he wants, but this is something he can’t buy. And my dad feels Sheikh Mohammed has given all of us so much in our lifetime, and to give it back to him with a Kentucky Derby victory would be a dream come true

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://cs.bloodhorse.com/blogs/horse-racing-steve-haskin/archive/2015/04/19/mclaughlin-a-hero-to-be-proud-of-one-special-person.aspx#ixzz3Xr95cDDp

 
Frosted Team Hoping for Sweet Kentucky Derby
Updated - 4/15/2015
 

Frosted Team Hoping for Sweet Kentucky Derby: When trainer Kiaran McLaughlin declared Cairo Prince out of the Kentucky Derby last year, the entire team, including owner Godolphin Racing, understandably felt disappointed. In fact, McLaughlin even told a Blood-Horse reporter, “All my staff and all my family…it’s the toughest day of my career as a trainer.” That comment indicated just how highly they thought of Cairo Prince.

Frosted Kentucky Derby 2015

Frosted acts like a happy horse around the barn. As with many young colts though, he enjoys watching the fillies, saying he “likes to scream out to all the fillies in the morning as they walk by him.” Photo: LATT

This year, the same owner and Team McLaughlin receive a second chance with Frosted, a gray son of Tapit who recently won the Grade I Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. The office manager for Kiaran McLaughlin Racing, Cate M. Johnson, recently offered a few words on Frosted’s upcoming plans and her boss Kiaran.

She revealed that Frosted is currently waiting at Belmont Park and will not ship to Churchill Downs until the fourth week of April. Johnson confirmed that Joel Rosario is expected to retain the mount, and she also provided some insight into Frosted’s name.

“Darley names the horses…all I can guess is that with his mother being Fast Cookie and his sister being Macaroon, Frosted may be a cookie reference, but I’m not sure on that one,” Johnson said.

According to Johnson, Frosted acts like a happy horse around the barn. As with many young colts though, he enjoys watching the fillies, saying he “likes to scream out to all the fillies in the morning as they walk by him.”

Johnson considers the three-year-olds trained by Bob Baffert and Todd Pletcher to be the ones to fear in this year’s Kentucky Derby, which include Dortmund, American Pharoah, Carpe Diem, and Materiality. American Pharoah just romped in the Arkansas Derby and caused quite a stir on various online horse forums. On the positive side for handicappers, Frosted’s betting odds are expected to range anywhere from fair to an overlay because of the hype concerning the above colts.

Johnson spoke about why the Derby is special for McLaughlin and of his wardrobe plans.

“Kiaran was born and raised in Lexington, and winning the Derby has always been a dream of his,” Johnson explained. “Kiaran is a male trainer, and he typically doesn’t wear hats to the races – you may catch him in a baseball cap in the mornings though.”

Frosted Kentucky Derby 2015

This year, the same owner and Team McLaughlin receive a second chance with Frosted, a gray son of Tapit who recently won the Grade I Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.
Photo: Susie Raisher, Coglianese/NYRA

Johnson also wanted to add, “Kiaran is a very generous and kind-hearted man who loves what he does.”

That last tidbit should provide extra motivation for supporting Frosted. McLaughlin has endured the ups and downs of a training career as well as in life. Like Pletcher, McLaughlin once worked as an assistant for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas from 1985 to 1992. Eventually he moved on from Lukas and began to split his time between America and Dubai where he became the leading trainer at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse three times. In 1998, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

McLaughlin has accomplished a lot in his training career. The list of races shown on his Wikipedia page is impressive. However, the Derby has eluded him, although he did come close in the 2005 edition when Closing Argument lost by a half-length to Giacomo after racing slightly off the leaders in sixth.

Frosted might emulate that strategy or even sit further back. His tactics in the Wood Memorial were more conservative than his previous form which gives Rosario more options. Johnson ended the conversation by hoping Frosted’s fans will cheer for him on the first Saturday in May.

The 141st running of the Kentucky Derby is set to take place at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 2, 2015. Gates open early at 8:00 am ET with post time for the first race at 10:30 am ET. Post time for the Kentucky Oaks is approximately 5:45 pm ET on Friday May 1, 2015. Post time for the Kentucky Derby is approximately 6:24 pm ET. Visit KentuckyDerby.com for official information.

Distorted Humor Filly Takes to the Turf at Keeneland
Updated - 4/12/2015
ROBILLARD (f, 3, Distorted Humor--Magnificience {GSW, $163,738}, by Stormy Atlantic) annexed her second career start and first try over the grass at Keeneland Sunday afternoon. Fourth in a 6 1/2-panel Gulfstream Park maiden event Feb. 22, she was tabbed as the 4-1 second choice in this spot. Away in good order, the Godolphin homebred tracked the pace of Werewolf (Arch) along the inside through fractions of :23.68, :48.77 and 1:13.93. Extracted from the rail approaching the far turn, the chestnut angled out to the four path into the lane and unleashed a powerful rally down the center of the course to prevail by one length on the wire. Return to Grace (English Channel) rallied late to catch Lady Dyna (Dynaformer) to complete the exacta. The final time for 1 1/16 miles was 1:44.20. Robillard gave her trainer his sixth win of this brief meet. Lifetime record: 2-1-0-0, $36,800.
O-Godolphin Racing LLC. B-Darley (KY). T-Kiaran P McLaughlin.
Changes pay off for Frosted, McLaughlin
Updated - 4/6/2015
 

NEW YORK -- Starting from scratch can be a risky proposition, especially when the Kentucky Derby is rapidly approaching on the horizon. Yet Kiaran McLaughlin had no choice.

The 54-year-old trainer simply was not used to the sight of a bona fide Kentucky Derby prospect turning for home in a major prep with a clear lead and then losing interest in running -- just as Frosted did in the Fountain of Youth.

On that frustrating February afternoon for McLaughlin, Frosted had forged to the front on the final turn and seemed to be comfortably cruising along in the Grade 2 stakes. Even track announcer Larry Collmus bought in, punctuating his call of the race with: "Frosted is looking good."

Appearances, however, proved to be quite deceiving as Frosted slowed in the stretch over a dull, tiring track, said "no mas" and faded to fourth.

"The last race really made us scratch our head over why he would go to the lead and then throw his head in the air and stop when we all thought he was going to win," McLaughlin said.

So McLaughlin, his assistant trainers, vets, grooms and everyone else associated with the colt went back to the drawing board. He switched riders, bringing in Joel Rosario to replace Irad Ortiz Jr. The Godolphin Racing colt underwent a minor throat operation because McLaughlin wondered if Frosted flipped his palate, restricting his breathing. Then, instead of running Frosted at Gulfstream in the Florida Derby, he gave the homebred son of Tapit an extra week of rest and shipped him to Aqueduct for Saturday's $1 million Wood Memorial.

"We did it all," McLaughlin said. "We changed everything that we thought could have gone wrong."

Then he held his breath, and let out a huge sigh of relief when Frosted ($6.40) returned to winning form and rallied from sixth in the field of seven to capture the Wood by two lengths and punch his ticket to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby.

Frosted turns for home in the Wood Memorial.NYRA/Adam CoglianeseFrosted still had work to do as he turned for home in Saturday's Wood Memorial.
Tenecedur, a 21-1 shot, was second and Gotham winner El Kabeir, the $2.20-to-1 co-second choice along with Frosted, closed from last to grab third, 5 ¾ lengths behind Frosted.

Daredevil, the slight $2.00-to-1 favorite, was a well-beaten fourth.

"This has been a tough, special project for my team … It all worked out and it's a special win for us and Godolphin," said McLaughlin, whose colt covered the mile-and-an-eighth in a moderate 1:50.31 on a windy day at the Big A. "He's a nice horse and I'm glad we all got to see it come together for him. It's a great feeling because he's such a neat horse.

"We got paid off for the hard work."

As part of that payoff, McLaughlin and the Dubai-based Godolphin have an intriguing Kentucky Derby candidate whose new-found ability to close could come in handy in the Run for Roses, which has no shortage of horses who want to be on or near the lead. "No problem, especially after he rated like he did today," McLaughlin said about the Derby's mile-and-a-quarter distance. "I don't think an extra furlong will be a problem." Nor will starting in the Run for the Roses pose a problem for any of the top three finishers in the Wood. Frosted received 100 points for his victory in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series, which assured him of a spot in the field, while Tenecedur, who picked up 40 points, can also make travel plans, if his connections wish.

El Kabeir, who had already clinched his spot in the field with 75 points coming in, added 20 more to his total for good measure.

At Churchill Downs on May 2 they could meet up with two horses who were impressive winners of Saturday's other Grade 1 preps (Dortmund/Santa Anita Derby; Carpe Diem/Blue Grass) and perhaps reigning 2-year-old champ American Pharoah, and don't expect any of the New York horses to be among the favorites on the toteboard.

Yet if Frosted can continue to progress and improve off Saturday's effort, there could be some intriguing international implications. In Godolphin, Dubai's Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum heads the world's most formidable stable and for decades he has coveted a victory in an American Triple Crown race.

"For anyone to win the Derby, it's a dream," McLaughlin said. "Godolphin only wants to win it when they have a chance and this gives us a big chance. That's why it's exciting. It would be great for them [to win the Derby] because they do so much for racing. They are so generous in supporting racing around the world."

To date, Godolphin's Dubai-based runners have been unable to create a stir on the first Saturday in May in Louisville, yet now a horse born, raised, trained and even tinkered with in America could be the vehicle of change for Sheikh Mohammed's luck at Churchill Downs.

Given how all of McLaughlin's changes have worked out with Frosted so far, it's hardly a far-fetched notion.

Godolphin’s Frosted Looks Good in Wood Memorial Stakes Win - See more at: https://www.ladyandthetrack.com/news/12078/godolphins-frosted-looks-good-in-wood-memorial-stakes-win.html#sthash.SMJdp3e1.dpuf
Updated - 4/6/2015
Godolphin’s Frosted Looks Good in Wood Memorial Stakes Win: Frosted’s ability to win races appeared to be ice cold in previous starts. The son of Tapit, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin for the powerful Godolphin Racing, won only once before this weekend. However, legitimate excuses popped up for those races, and Frosted eventually developed a throat problem which recently required surgery. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin’s Frosted overcame a wide trip and a host of doubts to run down longshot Tencendur to take the Grade 1, $1 million Twinspires.com Wood Memorial on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack. The victory officially punches the 3-year-old colt’s ticket to the Kentucky Derby on May 2. Photo: Adam Mooshian, Coglianese/NYRA With the surgery done and a minor adjustment made to his blinkers in place for the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, Frosted stormed home to a good-looking victory and earned 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points. His winning effort passes the quality test from a couple of angles. For one, Frosted raced wide for most of the race, which means he lost a ton of ground. Approaching the first turn, Frosted came close to the rail horse, and he shifted to the outside as jockey Joel Rosario seemed content to let Frosted remain wide. Once the tempo picked up on the far turn, Frosted was still wide. The closely packed group never gave him a chance to save a little ground, and Frosted was unable to return to the two-path until he neared the finish line. In addition, Frosted rated and passed horses successfully from the back, a method that might interest those searching for a Derby closer. This tactic differed from his previous start. At Gulfstream Park in a February race, Frosted pressed the pace and hit a wall turning for home. Here at Aqueduct, Frosted came from sixth to win and showed a different dimension that might come in handy. Maybe Frosted overcame his tendency to only hit the board with the new rating tactics. Furthermore, sometimes horses keep winning once they learn how to win, or they at least run better overall. Turning a horse into a closer does not always work. The tactics worked against Conquest Titan last year. Yet, Mine That Bird won the 2009 Kentucky Derby and turned into a top three-year-old once they switched to closing tactics. From a visual standpoint, the thinned-out field at the end signifies a fast race. Frosted defeated Tencendur by two lengths, and it was over three lengths back to El Kabeir in third. Six lengths separated El Kabeir and fourth-place finisher Daredevil. Although exceptions occur, a spread out field signifies that the race finished in a fast time regardless of what the raw final time shows. As for the other horses, only Tencendur ran well enough to warrant consideration in the Derby, if he even makes the field. In contrast to Frosted, the more aggressive tactics used with Tencendur worked, and the son of Warrior’s Reward ran the race of his life. El Kabeir will still attract attention as a closer in the Derby even though he had almost the same position as Frosted early and failed to make the same run. If El Kabeir runs well at Churchill Downs, a fourth-place finish is the limit, whereas an off-the-board finish is more likely. Godolphin’s Kentucky Derby record has been disappointing considering the number of good horses in their stable every year. Out of eight attempts, they have failed each time. Some of those colts never had a proper shot because they prepared in Dubai, and horses that come from across the ocean have never won the Derby. With Frosted, they own an improving horse that has raced over here. This colt will provide Godolphin’s best chance, perhaps ever, at winning the roses. - See more at: https://www.ladyandthetrack.com/news/12078/godolphins-frosted-looks-good-in-wood-memorial-stakes-win.html#sthash.SMJdp3e1.dpuf
Road to the Kentucky Derby: Frosted locks up spot
Updated - 4/6/2015
 

New York — It's been 12 years since a horse who ran in the Wood Memorial went on to win the Kentucky Derby. The last time a Wood winner did it was 15 years ago.

That could change in four weeks. Frosted won the $1 million Wood at Aqueduct Racetrack on Saturday, and tops a possible five-horse entourage heading from New York to Louisville on May 2.

Frosted took the lead from 21-1 long shot Tencendur in midstretch and won New York's major prep for the Derby by two lengths on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Both 3-year-olds are on their way to the Derby, as well as third-place finisher El Kabeir, based on Derby qualifying points.

Fourth- and fifth-place finishers Daredevil and Tiz Shea D are on the bubble.

Winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin says Frosted will have no trouble with the 11/4-mile Derby distance after his performance in the 11/8-mile Wood.

"No problem after the way he rolled up and passed them all," McLaughlin said. "I don't think another eighth-of-a-mile will be any problem."

Frosted earned 100 Derby qualifying points with his first win in more than five months and ranks fourth with 113. El Kabeir is seventh with 95 points after earning 20 for third, while Tencendur grabbed 40 for second and is 15th with 41 points. Daredevil (20) and Tiz Shea D (20) still have outside chances. The Derby field has a maximum of 20 starters.

In two other major prep races Saturday, Dortmund remained undefeated (6-0) with a 41/4-length romp in the Santa Anita Derby, and Carpe Diem won the Blue Grass at Keeneland by three lengths.

Frosted, ridden by Joel Rosario, won in 1:50.31. The gray colt owned by Godolphin Racing returned $6.40, $4.50 and $3. Tencendur paid $15.40 and $5.60. El Kabeir was third and paid $2.70.

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

The seven-horse field broke well on a sunny but breezy day at the Big A, with Toasting Master and Daredevil setting the pace. Tencendur ran just off the leaders most of the way before taking over turning for home. An upset loomed by the New York-bred until a determined Frosted made his run from sixth to victory.

A three-race losing streak by Frosted leading up to the Wood was a big concern for McLaughlin. He ran second in the Remsen and the Holy Bull and fourth in the Fountain of Youth.

"We know he has a ton of ability," McLaughlin said. "And the last race really made us scratch our heads, asking why? We did everything we could to change everything. It all worked out, and it's just a special win."

Among the changes were opting to bring the colt to New York rather than run in last week's Florida Derby and calling on Rosario to replace Irad Ortiz Jr. Frosted now has two wins in seven starts — both at Aqueduct.

Twelve years ago, Funny Cide ran second in the Wood and went on to win the Derby and the Preakness; 15 years ago, Fusaichi Pegasus won the Wood and then the Derby.

 

Kentucky Derby

What: First leg of Thoroughbred Triple Crown

Post time: 6:23 p.m. Saturday, May 2, Churchill Downs, Louisville, Ky.

Purse: $2 million

Distance: 11/4 miles

Top contenders: 1, International Star (171 points); 2, Dortmund (170); 3, Carpe Diem (164); 4, Frosted (113); 5, Mubtaahij (100); 6, Materiality (100); 7, El Kabeir (95); 8, Upstart (76); 9, American Pharoah (60); 10, Itsaknockout (60).

Godolphin’s Zingarelli Makes it Two in a Row at the Big A
Updated - 4/4/2015
4th at AQU Alw ($82k)  [1 1/8m] Winner: Zingarelli (Ire), c, 4 by Bernardini
Bernardini
© darleystallions.com
4th-AQU, $82,000, Alw, NW1$X, 3yo/up, 1 1/8m, 1:50 4/5, ft.
ZINGARELLI (IRE) (c, 4, Bernardini--Octave {MGISW, $1,660,934}, by Unbridled's Song) continues to make up for lost time with a second-consecutive facile victory from as many tries. The homebred son of 2007 GI CCA Oaks and GI Mother Goose S. winner Octave got his career off on a winning note over the inner track, taking a one-mile maiden by 4 1/2 lengths Feb. 26, and was bet down to 3-2 to keep it going here. Bounced away from the five hole by Irad Ortiz Jr., Zingarelli took them into the first turn and continued to hold the advantage while racing into the stiff headwind through the middle stages of the nine-furlong test. He began to lengthen his stride three furlongs from the wire, turned for home under a double hammerlock and was shown the whip late while being ridden out hands and heels to score by an eased-down 4 1/2 lengths, with Darley’s Jimmy Bell on hand for the romp. Octave is also the dam of SP Portamento (Ire) (Shamardal), produced an American-bred full-brother to that one in 2013 and is the dam of a yearling full-sister to Zingarelli. She is one of two former high-profile runners campaigned by Starlight Stables to be purchased at auction by Sheikh Mohammed’s team, having cost $4 million at FTKNOV in 2007. Two years earlier, Darley acquired Ashado for $9 million at KEENOV. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $85,200. Click for the brisnet.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Godolphin Racing LLC. B-Darley (IRE). T-Kiaran P McLaughlin.
Frosted Drills Wood Rivals
Updated - 4/4/2015
10th at AQU GI TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial S.  [1 1/8m] Winner: Frosted, c, 3 by Tapit
Frosted
© Adam Coglianese
Godolphin homebred Frosted (Tapit) finally delivered on the promise he showed in last year’s GII Remsen S., driving to a two-length victory in Saturday’s GI Twinspires.com Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. An ultra-game second despite a pronounced speed bias in last year’s GII Remsen S., the gray colt was 5 1/2 lengths adrift of Upstart (Flatter) when second in the Jan. 24 GII Holy Bull S. He looked en route to certain victory in the Feb. 21 GII Fountain of Youth S. before fading harmlessly to fourth. "This has been a top, special project for my team, my brother, the grooms, etc," said winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "We know he has a ton of ability and the last race really made us scratch our heads, asking 'Why?' He would 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. It all worked out and it's just a special win for our team and Godolphin because he's a homebred [by Tapit] and it enhances his resume by winning a race like the Wood."

Returning to the track over which he scored his maiden victory last October, Frosted was sent off at 2-1. Unhurried early, the gray found himself in last while racing three wide into the first turn. He tugged his way into closer order as Toasting Master (Congrats) and favored Daredevil (More Than Ready) set tepid fractions up front. Frosted was four wide turning for home as longshot Tencendur (Warrior’s Reward) skipped clear into the stretch. The Godolphin homebred reeled in that New York-bred foe while under a hand ride from Joel Rosario and spurted clear in the final sixteenth.

"He didn't break that sharp and I didn't really want to send him out of there and be on the lead," Rosario said. "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 him, he's always there for you."

Trainer George Weaver briefly thought he had the Wood winner when Tencendur turned for home in front. "I thought we had it turning for home and opened up, but I was watching from the ground [level] and I couldn’t see what Kiaran’s horse was doing," Weaver said. "We ran big. We were happy. I’m from Louisville and I’d love to run in the Derby. As long as the horse is in good shape, I’d be inclined to go."

The GIII Gotham S. winner El Kabeir (Scat Daddy), relegated to last at the halfway point, was ridden fairly quietly by C. C. Lopez on the turn and lengthened well enough in the stretch to be third. "He was running at the end," observed trainer John 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 frontrunners. 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."

Favored Daredevil’s fourth-place effort was a puzzle for jockey Javier Castellano. "It wasn’t perfect for us, the fractions were really slow but we had a good pace and a good rhythm," Castellano said. "I was really kind of surprised at how he finished the race. I really don't know why. He seemed fine. He pulled up good. But I couldn't go with the rhythm at the 3/8 pole and when I tried to move and go with the other horse, I couldn't keep up with them. I didn't finish today. I just didn't have it."

Frosted is out of Stonerside Stable homebred Fast Cookie (Deputy Minister), winner of the 2003 GII Cotillion H. Out of multiple graded stakes winner Fleet Lady, Fast Cookie is a half-sister to champion juvenile Midshipman (Unbridled’s Song). The 15-year-old mare produced fillies by Bernardini in 2013 and 2014. She was bred back to Tiznow.

Saturday, Aqueduct

TWINSPIRES.COM WOOD MEMORIAL S.-GI, $985,000, AQU, 4-4, 3yo, 1 1/8m, 1:50 1/5, ft.
1--#@FROSTED, 123, c, 3, by Tapit
     1st Dam: Fast Cookie (GSW, $557,480), by
Deputy Minister
     2nd Dam: Fleet Lady, by Avenue of Flags
     3rd Dam: Dear Mimi, by Roberto

O-Godolphin Racing LLC; B-Darley (KY); T-Kiaran P
McLaughlin; J-Joel Rosario. $590,000. Lifetime
Record: 7-2-4-0, $836,800. Werk Nick Rating: A.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.

2--Tencendur, 123, c, 3, Warrior’s Reward--Still Secret,
by Hennessy. O/B-Philip S Birsh (NY); T-George
Weaver. $190,000.
 
Daredevil, Frosted Prepare for Wood Memorial
Updated - 3/30/2015
 
A pair of contenders put in their final works for the Grade 1, $1 million Twinspires.com Wood Memorial on Sunday in advance of the April 4 race at Aqueduct Racetrack.
 
Daredevil, working over the Belmont Park training track, went four furlongs in 48.85 seconds, powering away from a stablemate in the stretch for trainer Todd Pletcher.
 
"I thought he did it very well," said Byron Hughes, assistant to Pletcher. "He looked good doing it, went very easily, and galloped out strong; we're definitely happy with the work. It didn't start out as planned [with Daredevil breaking a few lengths in front of his mate], but the rider adapted and had a good hold of him."
 
A son of More Than Ready, Daredevil has made only one start as a 3-year-old, a second-place finish in the Grade 2, seven-furlong Swale on March 7 at Gulfstream Park. As a juvenile, the chestnut colt captured the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont before finishing 11th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, his only start around two turns.
 
"He's very similar to what I saw last year," said Hughes, who oversees Pletcher's New York string during the winter. "Whenever I watch him, I think he can do just about anything."
 
Also on the worktab was Frosted, for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and Godolphin Racing, who logged a snappy five-eighths drill at Palm Meadows in Florida. Breezing in company with a pair of horses, Frosted commenced the work behind by a few lengths, but finished ten in front, according to McLaughlin.
 
"He worked great this morning, going five furlongs in a minute and two-fifths," said McLaughlin. "We're excited."
 
Frosted, a son of Tapit, who sired 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb, is hoping to rebound off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth. Wearing blinkers for the first time in the Fountain of Youth, Frosted pressed a fast pace over a taxing Gulfstream main track and appeared poised to have an impact on the finish, but tired badly in the stretch.
 
"We feel like we've accounted for every issue, and he has no excuse not to run his best race," said McLaughlin. "We know he has talent; he has to show it on Saturday. The track was very tiring for the Fountain of Youth and was again yesterday [for the Florida Derby], so we're happy with our decision."
 
Ocean Knight, a McLaughlin trainee still under consideration for the Wood, will breeze on Monday, after which a decision will be made, according to McLaughlin. The Curlin colt has not run since a head-scratching seventh-place finis in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 7.

 
Withers and Gotham winner El Kabeir put in his final work before the Wood on Monday.

Source: NYRA Communications

 

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