Crimson Frost prevails in $125K Heavenly Prize Invitational
by Ryan Martin
Barry R. Ostrager's Crimson Frost sat off the pace and made a four-wide move at the top of the stretch to notch her second career stakes victory in Sunday's $125,000 Heavenly Prize Invitational at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Michelle Nevin, the 6-year-old Stormy Atlantic bay made her seasonal bow in the one-turn mile for fillies and mares 4-years-old and upward, which pays tribute to Ogden Phipps' eight-time Grade 1 winner who was 1994 Champion 3-Year-Old Filly.
Breaking from the rail in the five-horse field, Crimson Frost tracked Espresso Shot who led the field through an opening quarter-mile in 23.82 seconds with 1-5 favorite Newly Minted 1 ½ lengths behind in second.
Around the turn, Crimson Frost still found herself on the rail with the half in 47.09 seconds, and was strongly urged by jockey Manny Franco, who tipped her four wide approaching the top of the stretch.
At the quarter pole, Newly Minted was in command keeping a stubborn No Hayne No Gayne at bay to her outside. Past the eighth pole, Crimson Frost found a new gear and inched her way to the front to win by 2 ¼ lengths in a time of 1:39.57 on the fast main track. Newly Minted finished a head to the better of No Hayne No Gayne.
Espresso Shot and Happycrest rounded out the order of finish. Abounding Joy was scratched.
Franco, who rode his third stakes winner of the meet, said the trip went according to plan.
"I had the trip that I wanted," Franco said. "She broke good and I was able to sit off the speed. At the three-eighths pole, I was able to take my filly into the clear and she started running again."
Crimson Frost arrived at the Heavenly Prize from the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm in November at the Big A, where she fell at the break unseating her rider.
Prior to the Turnback the Alarm, Crimson Frost acquired graded stakes black type in her graded stakes debut when finishing third at 38-1 odds to eventual Champion Older Filly Midnight Bisou in the Beldame in September at Belmont Park.
"It was the perfect setup. Manny gave her a great ride," Nevin said. "She's one of those fillies that just keeps finding more. He kept asking her and she kept finding it. I think she can also stretch out, but it was nice to get the stakes win for her today at the mile coming out of the Turnback the Alarm."
Crimson Frost, who returned $16 for a $2 win bet, cashed a check for $68,750 in victory which enhanced her lifetime earnings to $476,278. Her record, which includes a stakes victory in Monmouth Park's Bodacious Tatas last September, now stands at 28-6-6-5.
Bred in Kentucky by Joe Mulholland Jr., John Mulholland and Keith Desormeaux, Crimson Frost was purchased for $10,000 from the 2015 Keeneland September Yearling Sale and is out of the Horse Chestnut broodmare Rock Jasmine.
Live racing resumes Friday at the Big A with an eight-race card. First post is 1:30 p.m. Eastern.