By Sarah Mace
New York-sired Gabrielle Farm homebred Frosty Margarita (Frost Giant) made it three stakes wins in a row on Sunday, leading early and holding late to capture the inaugural $100,000 Maddie May Stakes for three-year-old New York-bred fillies at one mile and 70 yards.
Frosty Margarita came into sophomore debut with a stellar juvenile record in tow, having never finished out of the exacta in six career starts. The only question was whether her strong sprint form would carry over into a two-turn contest and over a longer distance. The filly’s three career victories last year had come at six and 6 1/2 furlongs. In her solitary route attempt, the one-turn one-mile Maid of the Mist, she had to settle for second behind the accomplished Super Surprise.
Reunited with regular rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. and favored at odds of 3-5, Frosty Margarita projected to be on or near the lead and did not disappoint. She broke sharply and opened up three lengths of daylight by the first point of call, clocking a quarter-mile in a comfortable 25.54.
The dark bay filly extended her lead to six lengths along the backstretch while ticking off a half-mile in a quicker 49.65. Katniss the Victor, 2-1 second choice, was challenge-minded, however, and began to launch a bid from mid-pack, eroding Frosty Margarita’s lead to two lengths by the top of the lane.
Frosty Margarita kept to business in the stretch, but had to dig deep in the final yards to hold off a surging Katniss the Victor. She won the photo by a nose in a final time of 1:44.91. Mecke’s Madalyn finished third, 17 lengths behind runner up. Completing the order of finish were Miss Kew, Backwood Bay, Absatootly and Flatware. [VIDEO]
Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., said, “She’s a nice filly. We won last time sprinting and today she put in a mile. It’s a little hard to ride her but, thank God, we get along good. She doesn’t like it if you fight with her, you’ve got to keep the stick away from her, but she gave me everything she had.”
Conditioner Rudy Rodriguez added, “[Frosty Margarita] ran very good. She stole the race in the very beginning. We thought the other [speed] horse [Absatootly] was going to go with her from the start but once she didn’t, it made it more easy for Frosty Margarita and Irad knows the horse very well and not to hit her.”
Continued Rodriguez, who also trains runner-up Katniss the Victor for Michael Dubb et al, “The other filly [Katniss the Victor] ran good as well. We’re proud of both performances. It’s hard for the other part of the owners but we’re very happy for [Gabrielle Farm’s] Chip and Maria [Acierno].”
A maiden breaker in her second start at Saratoga last August 24, Frosty Margarita has had a steady diet of stakes ever since. Following a pair of close seconds to Melodic and Super Surprise in the Joseph A. Gimma and Maid of the Mist, respectively, she has now reeled off victories in the Key Cents Stakes, Fifth Avenue division of the New York Stallion Series, and Maddie May. Her earnings total $345,800.
Frosty Margarita was foaled at Saratoga Glen Farm in Schuylerville. Her dam Mango Margarita, an unraced daughter of Not For Love also bred by Gabrielle Farm, has produced two winners from two starters and currently has a two-year-old filly by Freud and a yearling colt by Teuflesberg. She was bred in 2015 to Central Banker.