After conferring with breeder/owner Catherine Adams Hutt, trainer Ron Moquett said Saturday morning that Frosted Ice will not make his 3-year-old debut in the $1 million Rebel Stakes (G2) March 16 at Oaklawn.
Frosted Ice worked a half-mile in :48.60 Friday morning – his third published work this year at Oaklawn – but Moquett said the lightly raced gray son of Bellamy Road needs more time before returning to stakes company. Frosted Ice won 2 of 3 starts last year, including the $150,000 Bertram F. Bongard Stakes for New York-breds Sept. 21 at Belmont Park in his final race at 2.
“Doing great,” Moquett said. “I felt that he probably needed another work or two to run against that caliber of competition. The owner told me to do what I thought was best for the horse and that's what we're doing.”
Moquett said he'll search for “something here” for Frosted Ice's comeback race, adding the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 13 and inaugural $300,000 Oaklawn Invitational May 4 are potential longer range targets. The Arkansas Derby is the final major local prep for the Kentucky Derby, while the Oaklawn Invitational winner will receive a free berth to the Preakness – the second leg of the Triple Crown – May 18 at Pimlico.
“He did great, he worked perfect, he galloped out good,” Moquett said. “But I just didn't think there was enough fitness there to do that (Rebel).”
Moquett has another gray 3-year-old to watch in Triple Crown nominee Cabot, who broke his maiden by 1 ¼ lengths in Friday's seventh race under Ricardo Santana Jr. Cabot, a son of multiple Oaklawn stakes winner and champion Will Take Charge, covered 6 furlongs over a fast track in a sharp 1:10.44.
“He's a nice, nice horse,” Moquett said. “We've waited on him for a long time. That took a lot of patience.”
Moquett said Cabot's racing career was delayed because of a foot problem. Cabot finished third in his Feb. 8 career debut to Captain Von Trapp and Cowboy Diplomacy, a full brother to champion Monomoy Girl. Captain Von Trapp returned to win a first-level allowance race March 2.
“We've got options,” Moquett said. “He's definitely a two-turn horse. He's got natural speed, so we can participate in other stuff, too.”
A $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale purchase, Cabot races for Alex and JoAnn Lieblong of Conway, Ark. Alex Lieblong is chairman of the Arkansas Racing Commission.
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