Gulfstream Park News & Notes - Fri 1/23

December 10, 2019

Frosted Aiming to Follow Cairo Prince in 2015 Lambholm South Holy Bull Keen Ice Makes Sophomore Debut in Lambholm South Holy Bull

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Decision Day Ready for Dirt Debut All’s Okay With Jess’s Dream

BOYNTON BEACH, FL – 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 Saturday’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 Kitten’s Joy stakes. He has not run since finishing second in the Remsen Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct on Nov. 29, the colt’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.

“His last race was very unlucky to be post 13 on a speed-biased track, and he just missed and ran great,” McLaughlin said. “Since that race, every day I just feel like he’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 he’s really training very well, like you’d like to see in a horse.”

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 ¾ 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.

“Cairo Prince was a little bit ahead of Frosted probably at this time last year,” McLaughlin said. “He 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 they’re similar [Saturday] afternoon.”

Frosted, who broke his maiden in his third career start by an impressive 5 ¼ lengths last October at Aqueduct, will break from the rail in the Holy Bull and be ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr. McLaughlin believes the colt’s sturdy build will benefit him in that post.

“He’s very well bred, and he’s a beautiful horse - a big, strong horse,” he said. “So that’s another good thing. We have the one-hole, and they’re not going to push him around, because he’s a big boy. He’s just talented, and he appears to have all the attributes you want. Everything is there. He checks every box.”

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 Saturday’s $400,000 Lambholm South Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park. “He looks great, and he’s doing great,” Romans said. “The original plan was to go to New York with him, but he’s just doing too good. He’s ready to run and he’s flourished down here, so we’re going to run him here. He is a deep closer, but I think he’s talented enough and if the pace is right he can come running.” 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 Breeders’ 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. “He was just always not mentally in the game. He was a little immature mentally,” Romans said. “I compared him to being a seven-foot eighth grader. Now, just everything has come together for him at the right time. He’s working so well. He’s grown and filled out.” Keen Ice has had four sharp works over Gulfstream’s main track since his arrival, including a bullet five furlongs on January 11, and cuts back to 8 ½ furlongs for the Holy Bull. He will carry jockey Edgard Zayas and 116 pounds from post 2 in a 10-horse field. “The further he goes, the better. The only distance concern would be that it’s too short,” he said. “This is a true mile-and-a-quarter horse. He ran in the Remsen and then we gave him a little freshener because it’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, he’d be the type of horse than can win it.” Romans has finished third twice in the first leg of the Triple Crown with Paddy O’Prado in 2010 and Dullahan in 2012, both campaigned by Donegal. Keen Ice first caught the eye of Romans’ life partner and assistant, Tammy Fox. “He’s always been good since he came to us,” Romans said. “Tammy 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 don’t argue with her judgment.” All’s Okay With Jess’s Dream McLaughlin also reported that Jess’s Dream, the first colt out of 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, is doing fine at Gulfstream’s satellite training facility Palm Meadows, where he is training for his career debut.

The 3-year-old is the result of a ‘dream’ 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.

“We’ve had tiny little bits of waiting and worrying, but everything is okay,” McLaughlin said.

Decision Day Ready for Dirt Debut

Decision Day, winner of the Coronation Futurity over Woodbine’s polytrack on Nov. 29, is training well on dirt at Palm Meadows leading up to his racing debut over the surface in Saturday’s Lambholm South Holy Bull (G2), according to trainer Josie Carroll.

“He seems to have adapted to it well here,” Carroll said. “He’s worked well on it. We just wanted to make sure we got plenty of time to settle in here before we tried it. We’re happy with him. He ran very well in Canada, and now it’s time to test him a little bit.”

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 ½-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.

“The 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,” 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.

“He’s a pretty smart, pretty talented horse,” Carroll said. “He’s improved every time we’ve run him, and he’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.”

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