Frosted etches his name in greatness with a sizzling Met Mile victory and track record


June 12th 2016

After setting a track record at Medyan in February for a 1900 Meter race, Frosted set yet another record on Saturday in the Metropolitan Handicap (shown below) with a event record time of 1:32.73. This is a significant accomplishment for two reasons. First, the 2016 Met Mile was the 124th running of race that was first run in 1891. Secondly, his time of 1:32.73 was just 0.53 seconds off the World Record for a dirt mile (1:32.2) set by Dr. Fagar in 1968. But Frosted is known as a horse who likes distance and had he been running in a 1 1/2 mile race on Saturday, he may have had a shot at breaking Secretariat’s world record for mile and a half that I will discuss later.

The Godolphin Racing 4 year-old didn’t have the most perfect trip being forced wide to make his move at the 3/4 pole but still won by a tractor-trailor length (14 1/4 lengths). This was really a jaw-dropping performance since Frosted has never been viewed as a “miler”. This race was really just a tune-up for the Tapit grey colt on his path to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships this fall.

Frosted received a 123 Beyer Speed Figure for his Met Mile win which ranks as tied for the 16th best Beyer Speed Figure ever recorded.

Below are the fifteen Beyer Speed Figures that rank above Frosted’s 123 since Andrew Beyer began assigning them in the mid 1970s. Ghostzapper, who has two BSFs in the top 15, won the 2005 Met Mile with a time of 1:33.20 and received a Beyer Speed Figure of 122 for his performance.

134 – Groovy – Belmont Park – 6 Furlongs – June 21st 1987 
131 – Groovy – Belmont Park – 6 Furlongs – June 6th 1987 
128 – Ghostzapper – Monmouth Park – 1 1/8th Mile – August 21st 2004 
126 – Formal Gold – Saratoga – 1 1/8th Mile – August 2nd 1997 
126 – Gentlemen – Pimlico – 1 3/16th Mile – May 10th 1997 
126 – Will’s Way – Saratoga – 1 1/8th Mile – August 2nd 2007 
125 – Formal Gold – Belmont Park – 1 1/8th Mile – September 20th 1997 
125 – Skip Away – Pimlico – 1 3/16th Mile – May 10th 1997
125 – Bertrando – Belmont Park – 1 1/8th Mile – September 18th 1993 
124 – Sunday Silence – Gulfstream Park – 1 1/4th Mile – November 4th 1989 
124 – Easy Goer – Gulfstream Park – 1 1/4th Mile – November 4th 1989 
124 – Ghostzapper – Lone Star Park – 1 1/4th Mile – October 30th 2004 
124 – Formal Gold – Monmouth Park – 1 1/16th Mile – August 23rd 1997
124 – Midnight Lute – Saratoga – 7 Furlongs – Sept 1st 2007 
124 – Artax – Gulfstream Park – 6 Furlongs – November 6th 1999

Note: Andrew Beyer speculated that had his figures existed in 1973, Secretariat would have scored 139 in his classic 1973 win at the Belmont Stakes.

Did Frosted have a shot at the world record for 1 1/2 Mile? 

Frosted is a horse whose pedigree and history suggests he likes races 1 1/8th mile or longer. He finished 2nd to American Pharoah in last year’s Belmont Stakes. Secretariat still holds the world record for a 1 1/2 mile race at 2:24 set in the 1973 Belmont Stakes (shown below). Secretariat’s fractional time at the mile mark in that race was 1:34.20. Had Frosted been entered in the 1 1/2 mile Brooklyn Invitational race instead of the Met Mile on Saturday, all Frosted needed to do was run another 1/2 mile in 51.26 seconds to break the world record. He ran the final 1/2 mile in last year’s Belmont Stakes in roughly 49.1 seconds while American Pharoah ran it in 48.66 seconds. The “rabbit” in this year’s Belmont Stakes and leader at the mile mark–Gettysburg–ran the last 1/2 mile in roughly 52 seconds flat.

It is interesting to speculate but I believe Frosted would have been in the mix for another world record had he been entered in the Brooklyn Invitational instead of the Met Mile this past Saturday. At the very least, I am confident that he would have broken that event’s record time of 2:26.




American Pharoah: He’s “Pharoah” good. But where does he rank among the all-time great thoroughbreds?

American Pharoah (left) Secretariat (right)

With American Pharoah’s Triple Crown championship this year–the first in 37 years–it has generated a lot of discussion on where he ranks on the all-time greatest American thoroughbred lists. I decided to research this and give you my opinion. At first glance, he ranks somewhere between Secretariat and Seabiscuit–two horses who have had movies made about their careers.

Although Man o’War tops many lists, Secretariat, in my opinion, was the greatest thoroughbred of all-time. Both of these horses are usually 1-2 on most greatest thoroughbred lists. I give the nod to Secretariat because he was Triple Crown winner who still holds the track records for all three Triple Crown races (Kentucky Derby 1:59.4, Preakness Stakes 1:53 and Belmont Stakes 2:24). I personally don’t think any one horse will ever break two of these track records let alone all three. Secretariat was a total freak of nature.

In 1999, Blood-Horse magazine compiled a Top 100 Greatest U.S. Racehorses of All-Time which you can see by clicking HERE. The list generated a lot of controversy as Man o’War and Secretariat were virtually tied but a one voter ranked Secretariat 14th which gave the #1 spot to Man o’War. Seabiscuit, a horse known to many casual fans due to his Hollywood fame from several movies, ranked 25th in the poll.

Overall, I believe that American Pharoah is definitely one of the Top 20 racehorses of all-time because he is one of only 12 Triple Crown winners–the benchmark for great thoroughbreds. But not every great horse competed in all three Triple Crown races–most notably Man o’War because his owner didn’t think 3-year-olds should race 1 1/4 mile in May so he wasn’t entered into the Kentucky Derby. A few horses were late bloomers or had minor injuries that prevented them from a chance at a Triple Crown. So American Pharoah has to rank somewhere between Secretariat and Seabiscuit. But how close to the greatest horse of all-time?

I will state up front it is hard to compare horses from different eras. Advances in training and veterinary medicine along with air travel vs long hauls for a horse across the country in a trailer or train–have given the advantage to modern horses. However, there are also more thoroughbred foals today than the first part of the century, so that means more competition. And great horses in the modern era typically have shorter careers than horses of the first part of the 20th Century because owners don’t want to jeopardize injury and potential loss of lucrative stud-fees.

So with all of this in mind, below is how I would rank American Pharoah right now and his career is not over. On pure talent alone, I think has a chance to move up into the top 5. Note that his combined times in all three Triple Crown races ranks as the fourth best of all twelve Triple Crown Champions: 1) Secretariat (6:16.4), 2) Affirmed (6:22.4), 3) Seattle Slew (6:26.2) and 4) American Pharoah (6:28.13). And his Preakness Stakes win was on a sloppy wet track that hurt his time and cost him at least 2 seconds and maybe even as much 4 seconds. If he had run on a dry, fast track, I am convinced that his combined times would rank third.

My Top 10 Greatest American Thoroughbreds:

1) Secretariat – 1973 Triple Crown Champion, 16 wins in 21 career starts. Holds the track record for all 3 Triple Crown races. Also was 1973 American Male Turf Champion. ESPN’s Greatest Horse of the 20th Century. His 31-length victory in the 1973 Belmont Stakes ranks as the most impressive performance by a horse of all time.

2) Man o’War –  Won 20 of 21 starts, finished 2nd in his only non-win. Associated Press #1 horse of the Century. Sports Illustrated #1 greatest horse in racing history.

3) Citation – 1948 Triple Crown Champion, 32 wins in 45 career starts.

4) Kelso – His 3-Year-Old season started after the Triple Crown races. He won the US Horse of the Year a record five times (1960-1964). 39 wins in 63 career starts.

5) Seattle Slew – 1977 Triple Crown Champion, 14 wins in 17 career starts. The only Triple Crown winner to finish the series undefeated. He beat Affirmed head-to-head in the 1978 Marlboro Cup Invitational and finished ahead of him in the 1978 Jockey Club Gold Cup.

6) Affirmed – 1978 Triple Crown Champion, 22 wins in 29 career starts. Finished in the Top 3 in all but one start.

7) Count Fleet – 1943 Triple Crown Champion, 16 wins in 21 career starts. Never finished below third.

8) Native Dancer –  The first thoroughbred television star. 20 wins in 21 career starts. Won 1953 Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. His only non-win was a 2nd place finish in the 1953 Kentucky Derby where he was bumped twice and lost by a head to Dark Star.

9) American Pharoah – 2015 Triple Crown Champion, 7 wins in 8 career starts. American Champion 2-Year-Old Male (2014) and he will undoubtedly will win 2015 Horse of the Year.

10) Dr Fagar – 18 wins in 21 career starts. Finished in the top 3 in every start except one where he was DQ’d but finished 1st. He is the only horse to ever hold four titles in one year (1968) when he was named the Horse of the Year, champion handicap horse, champion sprinter and co-champion grass horse.

In conclusion, I can say that we are truly blessed to see such a talent like American Pharoah. With movies having been made on Secretariat and Seabiscuit, we are watching the plot on the next big horse racing movie unfold. You’ve gotta love that!