Frost Point and Jorge A. Vargas, Jr. cruise home in the Heavenly Prize (NYRA/Coglianese)
By Keith McCalmont – NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Godolphin’s Kentucky homebred Frost Point secured her first career stakes win with a prominent effort in Saturday’s $125,000 Heavenly Prize Invitational, a one-turn mile for older fillies and mares, at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott and expertly handled by Jorge A. Vargas, Jr., the regally-bred daughter of Frosted, out of Grade 1-winner Balletto, rushed up the rail from her inside post to take command from the Jose Lezcano-piloted Falconet and never looked back to win by 6 1/4-lengths.
“I saw there was no pace in the race and only Lezcano could make some pace,” said Vargas, Jr. “I didn’t want to be too far from it [the pace]. I warmed her up [well] and she opened the gate and came out of there running. We went from there and it was pretty easy.”
The Heavenly Prize was billed as a rematch between Falconet and Battle Bling, who ran one-two last out in the nine-furlong Ladies on New Year’s Day here in which the former took command at the stretch call and powered away to win by two lengths over a muddy and sealed main track.
Falconet broke alertly from the outermost post 4 in the Heavenly Prize and was briefly in front before allowing Frost Point to take charge through splits of 25.31 seconds, 49.07 and 1:13.14 over the fast main track.
Frost Point maintained her advantage through the turn as Falconet surged to her outside with Battle Bling angling off the rail to make her bid, but there would be no catching a rampant Frost Point, who powered away and stopped the clock in 1:37.24. Falconet completed the exacta by 1 3/4-lengths over Battle Bling with Piece of My Heart completing the order of finish. Mommasgottarun was scratched.
The victory provided Mott a record third Heavenly Prize score, adding to past success with Isabelle  and Lake Avenue .
“There wasn’t any speed, so I told Jorge to break and see what happens. They were walking up front,” said Leana Willaford, assistant to Mott.
Frost Point, a winner on debut in December 2020 at Tampa Bay Downs, was winless in three sophomore starts. She boasted a perfect in-the-money record last year of 5-2-1-2, besting winners on two occasions as well as completing the trifecta twice at nine-furlongs in the Top Flight Invitational in April at the Big A and the Grade 3 Allaire DuPont Distaff in May at Pimlico Race Course.
“She had a little break after the race at Pimlico last spring and she’s been doing well since. She just needed a bit of a break,” Willaford said. “Now, she’s moving really well and handling things really well. Her weight and her coat is probably the best I’ve ever seen it.”
Falconet, unraced as a 2-year-old, enjoyed a productive sophomore season, winning twice and placing second on three occasions, including in the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows and the Seneca Overnight at Churchill Downs. She completed her 2022 campaign with a fourth-place finish after stumbling at the start of the nine-furlong Grade 3 Comely in November at the Big A.
Lezcano, who guided Falconet to her Ladies score, said his filly may have been hampered by the turn back.
“The other filly is a nice filly. My filly might want more distance – she’s kind of one-paced,” Lezcano said. “We went very easy in the first part but when I asked her, she stayed the same and the other filly took off.”
Bred in Kentucky by her owner, Frost Point banked $68,750 in victory, while improving her record to 10-4-3-2. She returned $9.10 for a $2 win bet.
Live racing resumes Sunday at the Big A with a nine-race card featuring the $100,000 Maddie May in Race 8. First post is 12:50 p.m. Eastern.