Frosted Departure (on the rail) gets the bob in the $150K Renaissance (Coady Photography)
Oaklawn Park Press Release/Edited
HOT SPRINGS, Ark.— Frosted Departure finally became a stakes winner in his ninth career start after edging clear of 3-5 favorite Two Eagles River late to win Saturday’s $150,000 Renaissance Stakes by a head.
Ridden by Francisco Arrieta, Frosted Departure was in close pursuit of Advent Stakes winner Count De Monet through early fractions of :21 4/5 and :45 2/5 for the first half mile.
The winner took over entering the stretch, but was soon joined by the favorite and the two battled towards the wire, with Frosted Departure prevailing in the final strides, while covering the six furlongs in 1:10 4/5 over a fast track.
“That’s a nice horse. Last time, he didn’t like the track because it was wet. But today the track was dry, so he went for it,” said Arrieta. “When I put him in the clear, he started coming. When I saw the other horse (Two Eagles River) coming, I tried to be close to him, make him fight. He did it. He held on. Great job by the horse.”
Bourbon Bash was third and was followed by Count De Monet, Choctaw Zip and Spurrier.
Frosted Departure, a Frosted colt trained by Ken McPeek, has now earned $246,711 for owners C & H Diamond Racing LLC and Magdalena Racing. He returned $21.20, $5.40 and $3.20 at odds of $9.60 to 1.
“He’s kind of hit and miss sometimes. When things play out for him, he’s tough and you’ve got to kind of make him lay a little closer,” McPeek said. I was a little worried when the 6 (Count de Monet) sprinted out in front of him and then he had to duck and go around. But (Francisco) Arrieta did a great job doing that. That was nice.”
Live racing resumes Sunday with a 12:30 p.m. Highlighting the nine-race New Year’s Day card is the Birthday Bash celebration featuring complimentary treats in honor of the Thoroughbreds turning one year older and the $250,000 Smarty Jones Stakes for newly turned 3-year-olds with Kentucky Derby aspirations.