by LAURA PUGH
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said that jockey Jose Lezcano did not ride Frosted to his instructions in the Travers Stakes on Saturday, August 29, at Saratoga Race Course, and that the miscue cost the horse a chance to win.
“The instructions were to sit third to fifth, but when nobody else went with [American Pharoah] [Lezcano] decided to go with him,” McLaughlin said of the ride that resulted in a third-place finish behind Keen Ice and the Triple Crown champion.
“It wasn’t ideal for us, but it happened,” McLaughlin continued. “[Lezcano] rode [Frosted] to win, but it wasn’t the instructions. We would’ve possibly been first or second, and we most likely would’ve been the ones in the center.”
McLaughlin said that Lezcano has not ridden to instructions before, though it worked out when Wedding Toast the Phipps Stakes. Godolphin owns both Frosted and Wedding Toast. Joel Rosario was supposed to have the mount on Frosted but was injured aboard Competitive Edge in the King’s Bishop Stakes.
“We were very disappointed when we lost Rosario,” McLaughlin said. “He’s been with [Frosted] since March—[even] working him for us at time. He just knows the horse so well, so right away we were up against it.”
McLaughlin said Frosted exited the Travers well and could point to the Breeders’ Cup Classic on October 31 at Keeneland Race Course, but he’d like to get a confidence builder in him first.
“Maybe, if we could find a race at a lesser place, then for sure, but probably not,” McLaughlin said. “We’ll just have to see how he came out of the race and make a decision; we’re not sure.”
Frosted has won 2 of 11 starts and has earned $1,486,806.