McLaughlin's plan to beat 'big two' in Classic
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin has spent an entire season yearning for a wider draw for Frosted in the majors, yet on the eve of the G1 Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita, he says he is "happy" with gate 2 for Godolphin's American flagship.
This Classic is one of the very best in the 32-year history of the race, according to McLaughlin.
"You have Arrogate, one of the top, top three-year-olds, you have California Chrome, the biggest prizemoney earner of all time, and Frosted, who this year recorded the most spectacular G1 Met Mile ever," he pointed out. "
Yes, I have been wanting it wide in the past, but in this case, I prefer to be on the inside...we need to save some ground if we're going to beat those horses I have just named.
"I'm happy with the Post Position," he reiterated. "It looks like Arrogate will go clear (from 10), and that California Chrome and Melatonin will try to drop in behind him.
If Frosted can break well, he can be third or fourth, saving ground, while (down the back) the big two are 'dooking' it out," he predicted.
McLaughlin feels that Frosted is the best of the rest after the big two, and that the tactics of the race will shape the result.
"California Chrome is the one to beat and, we know, we are not far off him.
"Frosted's last three runs have been outstanding. His Met Mile was a huge win. His G1 Whitney win was huge and he should have won the G1 Woodward, but instead, he finished third."
"It looked like he was over-confident as he travelled up wide to join them, but he didn't want to touch him. He was beaten only a neck. I wondered whether he could have given him a back-handed tap," he said.
McLaughlin also saddles the talented filly Sentiero Italia in Saturday's G1 Filly & Mare Turf, in which she will meet a crack field, including the best from Europe.
"She belongs in this high-class field. She has been doing well. Her form with Lady Eli is good, which places her in the top bracket.
"The Europeans might be better on paper, but firm ground is expected, and that will inconvenience some," he added.