Canterbury Park’s 2018 horse of the meet Mr. Jagermeister was turned out on a farm in Arizona following his summer campaign in Shakopee. Trainer Valorie Lund brought him back to her winter home base at Turf Paradise just before Thanksgiving.
“He still looked like a fit horse,” she said. “He did not gain a lot of weight.” The 3-year-old Minnesota bred colt had plenty of room to relax in his paddock on the inside of a training track. “He is real playful. He did lots of running.”
The question now is how it will take “to get back to racing fitness,” Lund said.
The first test came Wednesday when he worked three furlongs in 36.2 seconds in what was described by the clocker as handily. Veteran rider Jake Barton was aboard Jag, as he galloped a mile before breaking off to work.
“He looked like he was doing it pretty easy,” Lund said. “And he came back good.” The plan is to work him again next week and eventually get to a once-every-seven-days pattern.
Is there a race selected yet for his return? Not according to Lund. There is a chance he runs in the Phoenix Gold Cup at Turf Paradise in February as it is easier to stay home and the six furlongs would be a good start on which to build. But if he is training exceptionally well, Lund could look to Oaklawn or Santa Anita for the initial foray.
Lund is always patient and will pick a spot she feels best suits the current situation. Aspirations are high. Maybe even Breeders’ Cup high. And Lund has been down that path with the sire of Mr. Jagermeister, the graded stakes winner Atta Boy Roy, who she took to the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs.
In this sport, planning too far out is dangerous to be sure, but when you train a speedy colt that is still maturing, and has already shown great promise, you have to aim high.