Frost Free Makes the Grade in $200,000 Chick Lang (G3)

Frost Free Makes the Grade in $200,000 Chick Lang (G3)

Midwest Shipper Earns First Stakes Victory in Fifth Attempt

LAUREL, MD – Keene Thoroughbreds’ Frost Free, stakes-placed in back-to-back starts, broke running and never looked back to break through with a 1 ½-length victory in Saturday’s $200,000 Chick Lang (G3) at historic Pimlico Race Course.

The 48th running of the six-furlong Chick Lang for 3-year-olds was the second of nine stakes, five graded, worth $3.3 million in purses headlined by the 149th Preakness Stakes (G1), Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

Making his eighth career start and first outside the Midwest, Frost Free ($5.60) and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. finished up in 1:11.39 over a main track rated good. It was the first Chick Lang win for both Ortiz and veteran trainer Brett Creighton.

Frost Free broke alertly from Post 6 in a field of eight as the 9-5 favorite and headed right for his usual spot on the lead, going a quarter-mile in 23.24 seconds chased by the threesome of Cats by Five on the rail, Catahoula Moon to the outside and 35-1 long shot Sweet Soddy J between them.

The half went in 46.66 as Frost Free began to gain separation with Cats by Five the lone threat coming up the inside, but the winner held sway despite drifting out slightly approaching the wire. Cats by Five, attempting to give Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen his seventh Chick Lang win, was 1 ½ lengths ahead of Mr Skylight in third.

Catahoula Moon, Market Street, Petingas Twin, Sweet Soddy J and Classic Joke completed the order of finish.

Frost Free began his career at Lone Star Park last June before joining Creighton at Oaklawn Park in December. The gray or roan son of millionaire Frosted has hit the board in five straight starts including a third in the one-mile Hot Springs March 23 and a second in the six-furlong Bachelor April 27 in his lead-up to the Chick Lang.

Run as the Hirsch Jacobs Stakes from its 1975 inception to 2009, the Chick Lang was renamed in honor of the racing industry legend widely known as ‘Mr. Preakness,’ who passed away in 2010 at the age of 83.


Winning Trainer Brett Creighton (Frost Free): Were you concerned about the racetrack because your one race on a sloppy track was not that good (well-beaten third in Oaklawn allowance race) "Oh no, no. That was pretty much the spot we were in at that time."

"He's matured and grown up. He's improving with every race."

“He's got speed. And the competition, I mean, we fit."

(On former jockey Robby Albarado galloping Frost Free this week) "He said he's all business. Me and Robby go back a long way. I knew he knew what he was talking about."

(On first graded stakes victory) "Oh, it's great. I've been in the business a very long time. It means a lot. I think I got my trainer's license in 1984 maybe."

Winning Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Frost Free): “As he always does, he showed some speed early in the race. I never had ridden him before, and I didn’t want to get in his way. I let him do his thing and be happy. I saw in the other race in the slop he didn’t run that well. I was a little concerned about that. I let him be happy, be free and he was there for me whenever I wanted him.”

Trainer Steve Asmussen (Cats by Five, 2nd): “He ran solid today. I would rather it been a fast track for him today. He hasn’t run well on an off track before, but he showed up and put in a good effort today.”

Jockey Luis Saez (Cats by Five. 2nd): “It was a good trip. I was right behind the winner, and he was pretty tough. He kept going. he was just too tough. For a second, I thought we were going to get him. My horse never gave up."

Trainer Riley Mott (Mr. Skylight, 3rd): "That's wildly disappointing. He was on the rail. There was a little space to his inside. (Jockey) Flavien (Prat) said he broke a step slow and then just went to the open space on the left. Down the backside, Flavien said 'I don't think I'm going to beat a horse.' So, he ran very well to finish where he did. He got beat three lengths, I think, for the whole thing. Disappointing start, but he ran good. Nothing we can really do."

Jockey Flavien Prat (Mr. Skylight, 3rd): “He blew the start. He broke a step slow and then he went in. We lost a lot of time.”