Frosted to Take on California Chrome in Breeders’ Cup Classic

California Chrome (far left) was third in the '14 Breeders' Cup Classic and the early favorite for this year's edition (Photo credit: Breeders' Cup Ltd.)

California Chrome (far left) was third in the ’14 Breeders’ Cup Classic and the early favorite for this year’s edition (Photo credit: Breeders’ Cup Ltd.)

It’s official, as Godolphin Racing announced on Thursday that Frosted would indeed start in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) instead of the $1 million Dirt Mile (G1).

That sets up a dynamic match up against 2014 Horse of the year California Chrome and the up and coming three-year-old sensation Arrogate, winner of the Travers (G1) at Saratoga.

Frosted was no match for California Chrome when they met in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1), checking in fifth and beaten 5 ½ lengths.

However, he returned to the U.S. and earned a 123 Beyer Speed Figure winning the Met Mile (G1) around one turn, leading to speculation he was better going a mile.

He then won the Whitney (G1) at Saratoga going nine furlongs and probably should have won the Woodward (G1) at the same distance only to come up a neck short after an over confident ride by his jockey Joel Rosario.

The Classic will be contested at 1 ¼ miles.

“The distance is not a real concern, just California Chrome and Arrogate are,” McLaughlin said to David Grening of The Daily Racing Form.

A victory in the Classic would put Frosted in the hunt for Horse of the Year honors, with California Chrome the clear frontrunner to date, perfect in six starts this year.

The 2014 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner has a formidable task ahead of him at Santa Anita on Nov. 5 if either Frosted or Arrogate run back to their big figures.

Along with Frosted’s 123 Beyer, Arrogate earned a 122 Beyer for his Travers win, figures we have not seen in nearly a decade.

California Chrome’s top Beyer is a 113, first earned in his third place finish in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic and matched in this year’s Pacific Classic (G1) win over Beholder.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert trains Arrogate and is looking for his third consecutive Classic win. He saddled 2014 winner Bayern and last year won the race with Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, both of his charges going gate to wire.

Baffert will also saddle Hoppertnity, winner of the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Belmont Park, a race that has been a key prep for the Classic over the year.

 

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