The 12th Running of the Frost King Stakes
November 21, 2021 13:35
WO Race #3 $100.000 61/2 Furlongs
ON-Bred 2YOs 120 Lbs (Plus Penalties)
Track Record-1:14.73 (Aggravating-2021)
Stakes Record-1:15.79 (Caleb Toothpaste-2018)
The Frost King Stakes for ON-bred 2yos offers a purse of $100.000 and will be contested for just the 2nd time at 6.5 furlongs. Prior to last year, the first ten editions were ran at 7 furlongs. No HRP trainer has been able to win this event more than once, but jockeys P. Husbands (2014, 2018) and S.R. Bahen (2019, 2020) have both taken two of these events.
This year’s Frost King drew a field of six, but only one has taken more than a maiden-breaker. Here’s the field:
#1 Storm The Gates (The Sidley Stud/S. Ryan 120): CT debut was a winning one and jumps in deeper water here. Draws the rail and has worked well coming up to this assignment. Although debut was at this distance, the trip will be much different in this one-turn affair. Not sure how that translates, but no doubting his talent. This is a pretty good spot to see what you have and respect his presence in the gate.
#2 Gaudeamus (Fractious/R.M. Hernandez 120): Third crack was the charm as this gelding found ON-bred maidens to be just what the doctor ordered. That win was in September and he returns after a freshening here. Was a bit further back early on and if he can replicate that effort here, he should have a chance to pass some horses late. Minor-placing feels very possible.
#3 Grande Foire (Big Guns Stables/A.A. Gallardo 120): Followed the maiden-breaker with three straight off-the-board finishes when facing winners. Lots of medication changes and adds-tinkering, but looks like the trainer has settled on a combo that works. Feel like he will be a bit closer early on and if he can sustain his run, he can draw a check. Others look more promising for the top honors.
#4 Orange Chicken (Arindel/D. Moran 120): Broke his maiden at second-asking and has been fed a steady diet of stakes with four graded attempts in there. Did just miss when second in G3 back in April, but sharp runner-up effort in his latest broke a string of poor performances. This will be his first foray into the ON-bred ranks and that class relief could make all the difference for this gelding.
#5 Walk Naked (Jokerjoes/P. Husbands 122): HST stakes-winner will give his rivals two pounds in here, but he is in fine form. Just missed a repeat in latest effort, but his three wins demonstrate that he likes getting his picture taken. The 6.5 furlongs shouldn’t be an issue as this will be his third consecutive try at the distance. Yet another that likes to get into his stride before unleashing a rally; that could cost him against this group.
#6 Triceps (Aer Stables/S.X. Bridgmohan 120): Beat ON-breds here just last month and gets a class test here. Trainer doesn’t fool around with going through conditions and this is a very logical spot for him to see what’s under the hood. Retains the services of one of the barn’s preferred riders and has some flexibility in terms of how he tackles this assignment. Logical contender.
Final Analysis: 4-6-5 in any order would not surprise in the Frost King Stakes at WO. Good luck to everyone involved.