In his first start since a record-breaking win in the Mohegan Sun Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I), the 4-year-old son of Tapit dazzled again, finding a half-mile in :46.42 to be mere cruising speed as he opened a clear advantage through three-quarters in 1:09.65 en route to a two-length victory. Rosario never even asked him and Frosted was never seriously challenged in the stretch, completing 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.77 as the 1-2 favorite in a field of six.
"He was cooking," Rosario said in the winner's circle, after riding home perched motionless under the wire. "I knew he probably went a little too fast—more than normal. ... (but) I was cruising the whole way, he was very relaxed, and I just tried to save something for the end. Sometimes he's a little difficult, and you have to let him do what he wants to do, but when I turned for home I knew I had something left because I know the way he likes to run."
Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin for Godolphin Racing, Frosted is the second straight horse to sweep the Met Mile and Whitney—following Honor Code last year—and just the tenth overall to win those two races in the same season.
"I was a little concerned with nine and change, but he was going the right way," McLaughlin said. "For Joel to be there, he had to have a lot of horse. He just gets along great with this horse. I thought it was a little fast but with Joel, no. I was confident with Joel."
McLaughlin said options for Frosted include a run in the Sept. 3 Woodward (gr. I) at Saratoga, the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) at Belmont Park Oct. 8, or to train straight up to the Nov. 5 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park. The Whitney is a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" event, providing Frosted with a guaranteed berth in the starting gate for the World Championships' signature event.
"It's a privlege to have him in the barn," the trainer said. "He is a special horse, great-minded, very talented. I hope one day I can say he's the best horse I've ever trained. He's creeping right up at the top (of the list). Invasor was the best, I'll always say, but he is creeping up and now if he can go on and win the Breeders' Cup or Dubai World Cup, he'll be right there with him or pass him."
Aron Wellman of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners was thrilled with the effort of runner-up Comfort, who stepped into grade I company for the first time off three straight wins for Todd Pletcher.
"I've never been so happy to run second," Wellman said, as Pletcher credited his colt's effort.
"It took him a little while to catch his rhythm, but once he did, I thought he closed resolutely," the trainer remarked. "It was a big effort for him; he's come a long way in a short period of time. It was a big step up for him and he ran very credible."
Bred in Kentucky by Darley out of the graded stakes-winning Deputy Minister mare Fast Cookie, Frosted improved his record to 6-6-1 from 17 starts for earnings of $3,852,800.