Pensioned stallion Frost Giant passes at 19

Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

Frost Giant, New York’s leading freshman sire in 2012 and a pensioner at ReRun since last winter, died this week. Photo courtesy of ReRun Inc.

By Tom Law

Frost Giant never missed a beat from his spot at the end of the barn.

“If I was in the barn and shouted at him, he would always call back,” Lisa Molloy, executive director of ReRun Inc., said of the 19-year-old former stallion who lived at the Thoroughbred retraining and adoption organization in East Greenbush since early 2021.

“He would give you a run for his money, always want to jack with everybody,” Molloy said. “But not a mean bone in him though. He just liked to kind of spice life up a bit.”

Frost Giant arrived at ReRun last February with those and other traits that Molloy was already familiar with, having taken in several of the Giant’s Causeway stallion’s retired offspring over the years. Frost Giant eventually settled into his role as the unofficial ambassador at ReRun, attracting attention and visitors who came to see the winner of the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap in 2008

Molloy noticed some changes in Frost Giant in recent weeks and suspected issues related to bouts with Equine Cushing’s disease and related lamanitic episodes might be the reason. He underwent X-rays to check on the rotation of his feet, including his always troublesome right front. A podiatry veterinarian paid a visit to ReRun and Frost Giant underwent a phenogram exam to further explore his foot issues.

Frost Giant stood at Irish Hill and Dutchess Views Stallions, Vinery New York and in Australia and Chile before retiring to ReRun in East Greenbush. EquiSport Photo.

“He had quite significant damage to his feet. Because the right one was giving him so much trouble, he wasn’t really bearing weight on it, which was putting pressure on his left, which was also compromised,” Molloy said. “What did it for me though, like I said, through all of it he would still give you a run for your money. He hated, absolutely despised, you giving anything to him in his mouth. If he didn’t like the taste of it, it would make him angry. He’d try to get away from me. He’d run around in the stall trying to avoid me. The last week or so he stopped trying to do anything like that. He would just stand there.

“I felt as long as he’s acting like him, that would be completely fine. But as soon as it gets to the point where he’s not feeling himself anymore, I think it’s time to let him go. We explored every avenue, we tried various different medications, brought in specialists and everything. There really wasn’t anything left to be done for him.”

Frost Giant was euthanized from those complications of laminitis Monday and buried at the farm, not far from his paddock and barn.

“He was a rock star,” Molloy said. “I’m pleased he came into our lives. I really, really enjoyed having him. It just sucks. You always hope that you’ll find them in the field one day, that they just lay down. I was hoping we’d have a little longer with Frosty, but once the spark had gone out you know that it was it.”

A $600,000 purchase at the 2004 Keeneland September yearling sale by Coolmore, Frost Giant started his career in Europe with Aidan O’Brien. He won the Group 3 Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown at 2 to earn a spot in English classic Group 1 Two Thousand Guineas at Newmarket, where he finished 13th. Frost Giant didn’t race again until early September of his sophomore season and won the Group 3 Kilterman Stakes at Leopardstown. O’Brien sent him back to the U.S. from there and he finished fifth and 5 3/4 lengths behind English Channel in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park.

Andrew Cohen leads Frost Giant and Rudy Rodriguez to the winner’s circle after Suburban upset. NYRA Photo.

Frost Giant raced for various partnerships that included IEAH Stables, Andrew Cohen, Sanford Robbins, Pegasus Holdings Group and others from there. He won two of 10 starts in the U.S. after being transferred to trainer Rick Dutrow, including the Suburban at 40-1 under jockey Rudy Rodriguez.

Frost Giant entered stud for the Sunrise Stallions group led by Cohen at Vinery New York at Sugar Maple Farm in Poughquag in 2009. He led New York’s freshman sire list and finished sixth on North America’s first-crop sire list in 2012, siring the likes of stakes winner West Hills Giant and Zekes Surprise. He moved to Keane Stud in Amenia for the 2013 season, shuttled to Chile and Australia during his career and eventually stood at Irish Hill & Dutchess Views Stallions in Stillwater from 2018 to 2020.

With 12 crops that include 7 current 2-year-olds and 6 yearlings, Frost Giant sired 244 winners, 19 stakes winners and the earners of $22,537,016 through Tuesday. He finished 11th on the New York general sire list in 2021 with progeny earnings of $924,884, after finishing eighth in 2020 and seventh in 2019.

Frost Giant consistently ranked among New York’s top five leading stallions from 2015 to 2018, including his third place showing in 2018 thanks to a $725,900 season from Giant Expectations and stakes victories from Frostie Anne, Frost Wise, Baby Boss and Frosty Margarita. Those five runners posted earnings in the six figures in 2018.

Multiple graded stakes winner Giant Expectations, who stands at Pryor Ranch in Nebraska, is Frost Giant’s leading earner with a bankroll of $1,351,600. West Hills Giant, a Grade 3-placed multiple stakes winner and second leading earner at $675,285, is another of Frost Giant’s leading stakes winners and a resident at ReRun. Frost Giant also sired Australian Group 2 winner and millionaire Valour Road and New York-bred stakes winners Comandante, Frosty Bay, Kid Is Frosty, Loki’s Vengeance and Lover’s Key.

One Response to “Pensioned stallion Frost Giant passes at 19”

  1. Judith Lowe says:

    Thank you for fine comprehensive article. Frost Giant was a favourite of mine. Was always hoping for the best for him. Don’t think he had the easiest of lives. Have worried about his health. Am grateful for the love Lisa Malloy gave him.

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