Frosted Odds to Win the 2015 Kentucky Derby with Picks and Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 4/7/2015
Man, is this ever a ridiculously deep and talented Kentucky Derby field this year. This is the fifth horse already that I have written about that would be a top pick in most recent years, and I haven't even gotten to American Pharoah or Carpe Diem yet. Every time you turn around there is another very professional winner of an important prep race. Frosted certainly qualifies on that front after his last outing. And, at +1800 to win the Kentucky Derby at Sportsbook.ag, which makes him the co-ninth choice, he is at a much more attractive price than some others. He is one to watch. Heck, most of this field this year is one to watch. That Pacquiao-Mayweather tilt is only going to be the second-best fight to watch on the first Saturday in May.
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Wood Memorial: This was a very impressive race. Though it wasn't as visually stunning as wins by Dortmund or Firing Line, it was nonetheless very professional. He settled well off an early pace and found a comfortable spot to settle in. He moved up slowly but was still five lengths off the lead at the start of the stretch - though in second by that time. From there he just locked onto the leader and closed the gap with each stride. He didn't react when taking the lead and pulled off for a solid two-length win. He ran wide for much of the early stage of the race to find the smoothest trip, so he covered plenty of distance and showed no real ill effects from it. It was precisely the kind of race you would like to see from a second-tier contender like this one. The biggest issue, of course, is that the Wood Memorial has been horrible at producing relevant Derby horses lately. Eskendereya and I Want Revenge were hurt before they got to the Derby after winning this race impressively, though, so maybe the recent history isn't quite as bad as it seems.
Prior experience: There are always some odd and confusing efforts by horses you like on the Triple Crown trail each year, None, though, was more perplexing than Frosted's in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream. Coming into the stretch, the race was clearly his to win. He looked great, had room to move, and wasn't going to get caught. I had already mentally cashed my ticket. But then he just stopped. It was like he hit a wall. He basically walked across the line, finishing fourth. There was no obvious excuse for it, either. Several things were changed heading into his next race, but his strong Wood Memorial showing makes it seem more likely than ever that he had a physical issue - like a flipped palate - that hampered him then without lasting effect. I am willing to throw that race out entirely. Before that he had run five times and had finished second four times - including twice in nice stakes races - and won the other. He's experienced, talented, and ready to go. I'm not necessarily convinced he can beat the best of the Derby field if they have their day, but you can be sure he'll factor heavily into my exotics.
Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin is a training legend. He has won most races there are to win on the East Coast and in Dubai. He has a Triple Crown win to his credit as well - the 2006 Belmont with Jazil. He doesn't focus on the three year olds to the extent that some others do, but when he has one it is ready and dangerous. He is an asset to this horse. He has no shortage of support behind him, either. This horse is owned by Godolphin Stables, which is owned by the ruler of Dubai. That sets up a big rivalry - Derby threat Mubtaahij is owned by the Sheik's cousin, and neither royal family member would be keen to see their cousin claim the family's first Derby.
Jockey: Joel Rosario took over this mount from Irad Ortiz Jr. last time out, and after the success he had I don't expect him to give it up. He won the Derby in 2013 with Orb and last year's Belmont with Tonalist, so there is no reason to doubt him here. He's another asset for this horse.
Breeding: Frosted is a son of Tapit - something that it is very trendy to be lately, It seems like half the Derby field last year was a Tapit. I don't like the Tapit line for stamina quite as much as some do, but he is certainly capable of being a factor. He has some other very nice breeding on his pedigree - he is inbred to Seattle Slew (never a bad thing in the Derby to have multiple Triple Crown winning influences in your blood), and his dam is a half-sister to 2008 two-year-old champion Midshipman. This is a regally-bred horse that seems more than capable of measuring up in this impressive field.
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