Frosted Aiming to Follow Cairo Prince in 2015 Lambholm South Holy Bull Keen Ice Makes Sophomore Debut in Lambholm South Holy Bull
BOYNTON BEACH, FL â€“ After winning the 2014 Holy Bull (G2) with Cairo Prince, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin returns to the race in 2015 with another strong contender in the highly regarded Frosted.
The striking grey son of Tapit and the graded-stakes winning mare Fast Cookie will make his 3-year-old debut in Saturdayâ€™s $400,000 Lambholm South Holy Bull, the ninth race on an 11-race program at Gulfstream that also includes the Forward Gal (G2), Hutcheson (G3), Sweetest Chant (G3), and Kittenâ€™s Joy stakes. He has not run since finishing second in the Remsen Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct on Nov. 29, the coltâ€™s first time contesting a graded stake. Breaking from the far outside in a field of 13 that day, Frosted was forced four-wide going into the first turn and was not able to save much ground from there on out. He launched a three-wide bid into the stretch and was ultimately beaten just a half-length by Fountain of Youth (G2) hopeful Leave the Light On. He was also eight lengths clear of the third-place finisher.
McLaughlin believes that experience only bettered his trainee.
â€œHis last race was very unlucky to be post 13 on a speed-biased track, and he just missed and ran great,â€ McLaughlin said. â€œSince that race, every day I just feel like heâ€™s more focused and training great. He works a half in :48 (seconds) and keeps going out in a minute and out in 1:14, so heâ€™s really training very well, like youâ€™d like to see in a horse.â€
In 2014, McLaughlin came into the Holy Bull with another Remsen-runner up, Cairo Prince, who would dazzle in the Holy Bull, winning by an emphatic 5 Â¾ lengths and stamping himself as a top Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby contender. While McLaughlin says the two runners are quite different, he hopes they can have similar on-track accomplishments.
â€œCairo Prince was a little bit ahead of Frosted probably at this time last year,â€ McLaughlin said. â€œHe was a very talented horse. Frosted is still on the improve and still learning his lessons well, and hopefully we see that big race like we saw with Cairo Prince last year - the Holy Bull was his big race. Frosted does everything right and is training great, so hopefully theyâ€™re similar [Saturday] afternoon.â€
Frosted, who broke his maiden in his third career start by an impressive 5 Â¼ lengths last October at Aqueduct, will break from the rail in the Holy Bull and be ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr. McLaughlin believes the coltâ€™s sturdy build will benefit him in that post.
â€œHeâ€™s very well bred, and heâ€™s a beautiful horse - a big, strong horse,â€ he said. â€œSo thatâ€™s another good thing. We have the one-hole, and theyâ€™re not going to push him around, because heâ€™s a big boy. Heâ€™s just talented, and he appears to have all the attributes you want. Everything is there. He checks every box.â€
Keen Ice Makes Sophomore Debut in Lambholm South Holy Bull
After Keen Ice rallied for third in the Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct to close out his juvenile campaign last fall, trainer Dale Romans brought the 3-year-old Curlin colt to South Florida for what was supposed to be a short vacation. Instead, it turned into an extended stay that has Keen Ice making his sophomore debut in Saturdayâ€™s $400,000 Lambholm South Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park. â€œHe looks great, and heâ€™s doing great,â€ Romans said. â€œThe original plan was to go to New York with him, but heâ€™s just doing too good. Heâ€™s ready to run and heâ€™s flourished down here, so weâ€™re going to run him here. He is a deep closer, but I think heâ€™s talented enough and if the pace is right he can come running.â€ Purchased as a yearling for $120,000 by Donegal Racing, Keen Ice broke his maiden at Churchill Downs in his second start, then finished fifth behind Carpe Diem in the Breedersâ€™ Futurity (G1) on October 4 at Keeneland. Stretched out to 1 1/8 miles in the Remsen, he closed to be third eight lengths behind runner-up Frosted, who also returns in the Holy Bull. â€œHe was just always not mentally in the game. He was a little immature mentally,â€ Romans said. â€œI compared him to being a seven-foot eighth grader. Now, just everything has come together for him at the right time. Heâ€™s working so well. Heâ€™s grown and filled out.â€ Keen Ice has had four sharp works over Gulfstreamâ€™s main track since his arrival, including a bullet five furlongs on January 11, and cuts back to 8 Â½ furlongs for the Holy Bull. He will carry jockey Edgard Zayas and 116 pounds from post 2 in a 10-horse field. â€œThe further he goes, the better. The only distance concern would be that itâ€™s too short,â€ he said. â€œThis is a true mile-and-a-quarter horse. He ran in the Remsen and then we gave him a little freshener because itâ€™s a long year, especially on the Triple Crown trail. Running here, we can probably run three times if we need to. If we can get him to the first gate on the first Saturday in May, heâ€™d be the type of horse than can win it.â€ Romans has finished third twice in the first leg of the Triple Crown with Paddy Oâ€™Prado in 2010 and Dullahan in 2012, both campaigned by Donegal. Keen Ice first caught the eye of Romansâ€™ life partner and assistant, Tammy Fox. â€œHeâ€™s always been good since he came to us,â€ Romans said. â€œTammy got on him when we got a group in and she told me this was my best colt. At the time, we had others I liked better and she kept saying this is the best one. I donâ€™t argue with her judgment.â€ Allâ€™s Okay With Jessâ€™s Dream McLaughlin also reported that Jessâ€™s Dream, the first colt out of 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, is doing fine at Gulfstreamâ€™s satellite training facility Palm Meadows, where he is training for his career debut.
The 3-year-old is the result of a â€˜dreamâ€™ pairing between Rachel Alexandra and 2008 Horse of the Year Curlin. Named after the late Jess Jackson, who campaigned both Champions before he passed away in 2011, the colt has been in training with McLaughlin since August. He has not worked in South Florida since December 18, when he breezed five furlongs in 1:00.25, the second best of 14 works that day.
â€œWeâ€™ve had tiny little bits of waiting and worrying, but everything is okay,â€ McLaughlin said.
Decision Day Ready for Dirt Debut
Decision Day, winner of the Coronation Futurity over Woodbineâ€™s polytrack on Nov. 29, is training well on dirt at Palm Meadows leading up to his racing debut over the surface in Saturdayâ€™s Lambholm South Holy Bull (G2), according to trainer Josie Carroll.
â€œHe seems to have adapted to it well here,â€ Carroll said. â€œHeâ€™s worked well on it. We just wanted to make sure we got plenty of time to settle in here before we tried it. Weâ€™re happy with him. He ran very well in Canada, and now itâ€™s time to test him a little bit.â€
Decision Day, an Ontario-bred son of Macho Uno, is two-for-three lifetime after following up his maiden-breaking win in October, a 2 Â½-length victory in his second career start, with his Coronation Futurity triumph. Carroll believes the colt showed a new dimension in that race, putting his grit on display in his stakes debut as he set a pressured pace and then turned away a stiff challenge from Nipigon to prevail by a head.
â€œThe way he never gave it up, even after the race when they were galloping out and challenging him, he just pinned his ears and wanted to keep going,â€ Carroll said.
Carroll says that determined quality is what impresses her most about Decision Day, who will break from post 10 in the Holy Bull under John Velazquez.
â€œHeâ€™s a pretty smart, pretty talented horse,â€ Carroll said. â€œHeâ€™s improved every time weâ€™ve run him, and heâ€™s very courageous. He took on all comers in his last race and persevered at a mile and an eighth, so you always like that in a horse.â€