Tuesday, December 13, 2016

New Sire Series: Frosted

A horse born in the wrong generation of racing, Frosted gets a second chance to show his talents in the coming years after retiring to the breeding shed for 2017.

Hitting the track as a 2-year-old in 2014, the same year his sire Tapit got his first classic winner, Frosted lived up to the “third time is the charm” saying when he broke his maiden third time out at Aqueduct after two second place finishes. That eye-catching 5 ¼ length maiden victory was enough to convince his connections to enter him in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes.

Starting what would become a trend in his career, Frosted ran second to Leave the Light On (Horse Greeley) in the Remsen then came back two months later to run second again in the Grade 2 Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes to Upstart (Flatter).

A fourth place finish behind Itsaknockout (Lemon Drop Kid) in the Grade 2 Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes convinced trainer Kiaran McLaughlin to change things up before his next race. After a change in equipment and jockeys, Frosted returned to New York for the Grade 1 Twinspires.com Wood Memorial Stakes to face six others.

In a bunched up field, Frosted was nearly last early on with jockey Joel Rosario aboard. Rosario kept Frosted wide throughout the trip, letting him have clear running room in the stretch where he had to run down Tencendur (Warrior’s Reward) if he was to win his first stakes race. Showing that he had the talent expected of him, Frosted passed Tencendur in the final furlong to not only win his first stakes race but his first Grade 1 as well.


The Wood Memorial victory secured Frosted a spot in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands starting gate. While he was no match for American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) Frosted ran well to finish fourth, just 3 ¼ lengths behind the eventual Triple Crown winner.

Frosted expanded his resume a little more throughout the summer when he finished second to American Pharoah in the Belmont Stakes, giving Tapit two Belmont placers in two years (Creator and Lani would extend that streak in 2016). Next up was a second behind Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red (Afleet Alex) in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy and a third in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes behind Keen Ice (Curlin) after battling American Pharoah most of the race.

With two seconds, a third and a fourth since his previous win five months before, Frosted looked due for trip to the winner's circle in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby. Going off at even-money, Frosted settled in behind the first wave of the field while Mr. Z (Malibu Moon) and Iron Fist (Tapit) pushed each other on the lead. Frosted made it a three way battle as the field turned into the stretch but that didn’t last long with the colt opening up on the lead to win by two lengths over Iron Fist, giving Tapit the exacta.


After an off race in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic where he finished seventh, Frosted headed to Dubai to start his 4-year-old season.

His first start came in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 Sponsored by EGA where viewers around the world were able to see how he’d matured over the winter.

Running closer to the front than normal with jockey William Buick aboard, Frosted was second behind Munaaser (New Approach) until soon after the field entered the stretch. Munasser dropped back as Frosted took the lead with Gold City (Pivotal) in pursuit. The only question in the stretch was how far Frosted would win by as he pulled away from the field, finally crossing the wire five lengths ahead of Gold City in record time.


Frosted entered the Dubai World Cup with big expectations after his record breaking run on the track a month and a half before. But while California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit) easily won the race, Frosted faded to fifth.

Even though the Dubai World Cup hadn’t gone as expected, Frosted easily put it behind him in mid-June when he was entered in the Grade 1 Mohegan Sun Metropolitan Handicap.

In his first start back after his trip to Dubai, Frosted returned to the familiar New York circuit where he settled for an in-between of his old U.S. racing style and his Dubai style by running mid-pack as three horses fought for the lead. Frosted started his move in the far turn and by the time they entered the stretch he was even with the leading Anchor Down (Tapit). It wasn’t long before Frosted hit another gear and left the field in his dust to show his first Dubai race wasn’t a fluke when he won the Met Mile by 14 ¼ lengths.


Receiving a mini-break after that race, Frosted returned again in early August at Saratoga for the Grade 1 Whitney.  Frosted took control of the race in the first turn, setting a fast pace over Noble Bird (Birdstone) and never giving up the lead. While it wasn’t as visually impressive as the Met Mile, Frosted was given an easy ride in the stretch to win by two lengths over Comfort (Indian Charlie).

The Whitney was the last win of Frosted’s career, though not the last race. It looked like Frosted may win the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes a month later at Saratoga but in a controversially confident ride by jockey Joel Rosario he lost the by a head when finishing third behind Shaman Ghost (Ghostzapper). 

In the final race of his career, Frosted headed to California for the first time to run in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic. While improving his finishing position by one placing from 2015, it wasn’t enough to get the win with Frosted finished sixth behind Arrogate (Unbridled’s Song).

Frosted was retired a few days later, shipping to Darley in Lexington, Ky. after a career that saw him win six of 19 starts and finish on the board in eight others for $3,972,800 in earnings.

Frosted is one of 32 stallions by Tapit listed as standing at stud around the world on the Stallion Register website. Also a Grade 1 Wood Memorial winner, Tapit has quickly made his name as a sire with his first crop producing Grade 1 Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner and champion 2-year-old filly Stardom Bound. Every year since Stardom Bound’s 2008 2-year-old season, Tapit has had at least one Grade 1 winner but he hit even bigger heights in 2014.

Breaking the single-season earnings record for a North American sire that year with $16,813,536 in earnings, the stallion has rebroken his own record in both 2015 and 2016 as he continues to hold his place as the continent’s top sire. The stallion stands for the highest fee in North America and one of the highest in the world at $300,000 with his sales averages for weanlings, yearlings and 2-year-olds all sitting well above that fee.

As of Dec. 11, Tapit is the sire of six champions and 54 graded stakes winners in addition to 95 stakes placed horses. However, the world is still waiting to see if he will become a sire-of-sires like his sire Pulpit, grandsire A.P. Indy and great-grandsire Seattle Slew. That question may take a while to answer as his first major stallion son (multiple graded stakes winner Concord Point) entered stud in Kentucky in 2011 making his first crop of foals four this year.  

Frosted is one of seven foals of racing age out of 2003 Grade 2 Cotillion Handicap winner Fast Cookie (Deputy Minister). The mare has proven to be a solid producer with all four of her foals making it to the track also winning at least two races each. Frosted is her only foal so far to win or place in a stakes race but his 2-year-old half-sister by Bernardini recently worked a bullet at Palm Meadows and his 3-year-old half-sister by Bernardini has won two races in a row this fall. Fast Cookie doesn’t have a foal or a weanling coming down the pike but was bred to Tapit in 2016.

Frosted at Darley
Fast Cookie is out of the multiple graded stakes winning mare Fleet Lady (Avenue of Flags), who won 10 races from six to nine furlongs. But it was in the breeding shed that Fleet Lady has made the biggest impact on racing.

Fleet Lady is the dam of another Darley stallion in 2008 champion 2-year-old and Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Midshipman (Unbridled’s Song), who has been in the top ten standing in the first, second and third crop lists since his first crop hit the track in 2014.

In addition to Fast Cookie, Fleet Lady also has another stakes winning daughter in Regia Marina (Medaglia d’Oro), who won a stakes this year. Two other daughters by Touch Gold have produced stakes placed runners with one also producing a Group 2 winner in Running Tall (Stratum). Four-year-old Regia Marina is the final foal out of Fleet Lady, who died in 2016.

Going back a few generations, one finds Carnival Princess (Prince John) as Frosted’s fourth dam. A half-sister to two-time Italian champion Carnauba (Noholme), Carnival Princess produced a champion herself in France’s 1987 champion 3-year-old colt Salse (Topsider) in addition to four other winners. One of those winners was Carnival Delight (Half a Year), who is the dam of stakes winners War Monger (War Chant) and Brickell (Deputy Minister).

Constitution is one of five Tapit G1 winners out of a mare
by a Mr. Prospector grandson
Looking to what lines may work with Frosted, Tapit’s 20 Grade 1 winners comes from a variety of damsires. Two, including Frosted, are out of Deputy Minister mares while four are out of mares by Storm Cat’s sons. Not surprisingly for a U.S. based stallion, Mr. Prospector also features widely on the bottom side of Tapit’s Grade 1 winners with five (25 percent) of them out of mares by his sons or grandsons.

Looking at Frosted’s female family, Unbridled’s Son seems to be a good cross for that line. Frosted’s winning half-sister, With Sugar on Top is, by the stallion as is Fast Cookie’s half-brother Midshipman and stakes placed Addison Run, who is out of Fast Cookie’s half-sister.

Frosted will stand for $50,000 in 2017, so far the most expensive fee of any freshman sire standing in North America.

Monday, December 5, 2016

New Sire Series: Bobby's Kitten

After nearly a month hiatus, All Equine All the Time returns with the first new stallion blog of the season. Follow along in coming months as I look at new stallions hitting the sheds in 2017.

Bobby's Kitten
A familiar horse to both American and Europeans is new stallion Bobby’s Kitten, who won stakes in both North America and Ireland.

The first Kitten’s Joy son to stand in Europe, Bobby’s Kitten may be known most for his thrilling finish in the 2014 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint where he edged out fellow European stallion No Nay Never (Scat Daddy) by half a length at Santa Anita. But that is far from the only thing the bay accomplished.

A winner at Saratoga in his second start, Bobby’s Kitten proved to be one of the best – if not the best – U.S. 2-year-old turf horses of his year. Breaking his maiden at 1 1/6 miles by 2 ¾ lengths, Bobby’s Kitten went on to lead the 2013 Grade 3 Pilgrim Stakes wire-to-wire with a 6 ¼ length victory at the same distance.

That win installed enough confidence in bettors that Bobby’s Kitten went off as favorite for the fourth time in his four race career when he shipped to Santa Anita for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Leading early, Bobby’s Kitten wasn’t able to hold off the charges of Outstrip (Exceed and Excel) and Giovanni Boldini (War Front) but was easily the best of the rest of the field, 3 ¾ lengths ahead of the fourth placed Bon Accord (Showing Up).

As a 3-year-old, Bobby’s Kitten started his season in a Tampa Bay allowance at one mile on the turf.  Taking on a field of five others, including two future multiple graded stakes winners and one multiple graded stakes placed filly, the colt again took control early in the race.  Bobby’s Kitten had to fend off Global View (Galileo) in the far turn but handled that easily. His lead shrunk from three lengths with about a furlong left to go to 1 ½ lengths at the finish but Bobby’s Kitten had started his 3-year-old season with a win.

Still in the synthetic era of racing at Keeneland, Bobby’s Kitten’s connections decided to take a chance and enter him in the Grade 1 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes. Never getting the lead, Bobby’s Kitten tracked the leaders but wasn’t able to make an impact at the end when finishing 12th as the favorite.

Returning to turf for his next start, Bobby’s Kitten headed up the 2014 Penn Mile. In a field where seven of the eight runners were at least graded stakes placed, Bobby’s Kitten kept his favoritism streak alive. Those who bet him were in for a treat when Bobby’s Kitten rated behind Sing the Dream (Songandaprayer) until the field entered the final turn. Sweeping past the leader, Bobby’s Kitten was an easy winner with Global View cutting into the margin when closing for second but never threatening the 2 ¾ length winner.


Again trying something new with Bobby’s Kitten in his next start, he was stretched to 1 ¼ miles for the first time when contesting the Grade 1 Belmont Derby. Bobby’s Kitten again let someone else take the lead with Pornichet (Vespone) running away on the front end. Behind him, Bobby’s Kitten tracked Gala Award (Bernardini) with those two joining Pornichet after Jose Ortiz had convinced him to slow down a bit. Bobby’s Kitten still looked like he had a shot as they entered the stretch, even making a mild move but he ran out of gas mid-stretch, finishing third from last.

Bobby’s Kitten returned to a shorter distance in his next start when he returned to Saratoga for the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes. Bobby’s Kitten was back in his familiar spot on the lead for this race, even pulling away by a few lengths down the backstretch. In the final furlong, it looked like he had the win but with only a few strides until he hit the wire, Wallyanna (Langfuhr) loomed up and took the win, forcing Bobby's Kitten to second.

In his first international trip, Bobby’s Kitten headed to Woodbine in Ontario next for the Grade 1 Ricoh Woodbine Mile in his first start against older horses. Again taking the lead from the start, he was joined by Ancil (City Zip), who stayed with him until the middle of the turn. Bobby’s Kitten still had the lead as they raced down the stretch and looked like he may be able to hold on for the win until Trade Storm (Trade Fair) passed him in the final half furlong with Kaigun (Northern Afleet) also passing him. While it was hard fought, Bobby’s Kitten was able to hit the board when beating River Seven (Johannesburg) by a head for the spot.

Next, it was time to head back to Santa Anita for the Breeders' Cup.

While all Bobby’s Kitten’s runs up to this point had been on or near the lead, with Joel Rosario aboard, he showed a new dimension in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. He broke well but then settled in the back of the pack to sit in last place down the hill.  As the field crossed over the dirt and on to the main track, Rosario swung his mount wide and the chase was on. In the final furlong Bobby’s Kitten still had most of the field to pass but showed a huge kick to get in front in the closing strides and win by half a length.


Bobby’s Kitten was gone from the races for nearly 10 months after the Breeders’ Cup, not returning until late October of 2015. Finishing seventh and ninth in his first two starts, his connections weren’t deterred from trying the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint again and bettors still had faith in him when sending him off at single digit odds. While there was no win this time, Bobby’s Kitten didn’t embarrass himself with his fourth place finish.

Transferred to Dermot Weld a few weeks after the Breeders’ Cup, Bobby’s Kitten was aimed at a 2016 European campaign.

Starting in the Cork Stakes in late March, Bobby’s Kitten faced heavy ground but showed a lot of promise when winning the race by 8 ½ lengths. But his campaign ended before it had a chance to heat up with the horse never running again and retiring to Lanwades in September.

Bobby’s Kitten is by top U.S. turf sire and champion racehorse Kitten’s Joy. Kitten's Joy has had his best year yet in Europe with his first Group 1 winner in England when Hawkbill won the Coral Eclipse Stakes in July followed a few months later by Taareef, already a European Group 3 winner, winning the Group 2 Qatar Prix Daniel Wildenstein in France.

As of Dec. 3, 2016, Kitten’s Joy had 16 stakes winners on the year including Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Oscar Performance, Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic winner Divisidero and the aforementioned Hawkbill. Among his other graded stakes winners were a Kentucky Derby prep winner in Grade 3 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes winner Oscar Nominated and Grade 2 winner Deeply Undervalued.

The first stallion by Kitten’s Joy to stand in Europe, Bobby’s Kitten is out of the winning Forestry mare Celestial Woods, who has visited Kitten’s Joy every year she has been at stud. Of her four foals to race from six of racing age, all four have been winners.

Her first foal, Major Magic, was also her first of three stakes winners with the gelding winning the Chenery Stakes in his second start. Bobby’s Kitten’s two years younger full brother, Camelot Kitten, is also currently racing at the stakes level.

Camelot Kitten is also trained by Chad Brown for the Ramseys and broke his maiden in his first start. Second in a Grade 3 in his second start, Camelot Kitten has proved to be a better 3-year-old than he was at two. He won two straight races, including the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes in the Spring and did what his brother couldn’t by winning the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes in addition to finishing a close fourth in the Belmont Derby.

Overall, Camelot Kitten has won four of his eight starts in 2016 with two seconds. Only two of the 11 races in his career have come at the non-graded level.

Celestial Woods’ dam Celestial Bliss (Relaunch) never raced and never had a horse win at the stakes level but has proven to be a good producer of daughters. In addition to Celestial Woods, her daughter Blissful Song (Unbridled’s Song) is the dam of a Group 2 winner and another daughter has produced a French stakes placed filly.

Under Bobby’s Kitten’s third dam is where his pedigree gets very strong. That mare, North of Eden (Northfields), produced three Grade 1 winners (U.S. champion grass horse Paradise Creek, Grade 1 winner Wild Event and Grade 1 winner and Breeders’ Cup Mile runner-up Forbidden Apple) and is the granddam of Grade 1 winner Eden’s Moon (Malibu Moon) and champion David Junior (Pleasant Tap). If that wasn’t enough, North of Eden, is a half-sister to U.S. champion Theatrical (Nureyev) who was also a successful sire.

Bobby's Kitten's pedigree (via Equineline)
Bobby’s Kitten is an interesting addition to the European ranks for multiple reasons.

First, while he does have three crosses of Northern Dancer, they will be moved back to 5 x 6 x 6 on any of his foals and the lone strain of Sadler’s Wells in his pedigree will be pushed back to the fourth generation. Overall, Bobby’s Kitten should provide a nice outcross for mares in Europe.

Second, Bobby’s Kitten won stakes races from 6 furlongs to 1 1/16 miles so he should fit a variety of mares. His full brother’s ability to stay competitive in races at 1 ¼ miles and his sire’s success at throwing longer distance horses also shows that he may be able to throw more stamina than he showed on the track. While there will be concerns about his ability to throw horses who can go longer, it will be intriguing to see if that stamina is there.

Bobby’s Kitten joins Archipenko (Kingmambo), Sea the Moon (Sea the Stars) and Sir Percy (Mark of Esteem) at Lanwades, where he will be standing his first season for £12,500 (approx. €14,919/$15,891).