He won the premier Minnesota-bred sprint race in 2019 as the 2 to 5 favorite, drawing off to win by more than five lengths. Now Mr. Jagermeister is again entered in the Crocrock Minnesota Sprint Championship, one of six $100,000 statebred stakes that make up Wednesday’s Minnesota Festival of Champions.
Mr. Jagermeister missed the race last year after being sidelined following a disappointing fourth in an August allowance, not to resurface until February at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He ran well against some of the best sprinters in the country and arrived in Shakopee for the opening week 10,000 Lakes Stakes. The 6-year-old, trained by Valorie Lund, was sent to post as the 6 to 5 choice and dominated by 4 3/4 lengths.
Since then he has twice tried two turns at Canterbury and sprinted in a stake at Prairie Meadows, never finishing better than fifth. Mr. Jagermeister has been sidelined since July 14. A nagging hoof problem has been the culprit; a quarter crack that prevented him from training effectively. “He’s battled that all summer,” Lund said. The two recent works, including a 59.80 second drill Sept. 1 under rider Ruben Fuentes, indicate he might be the old Mr. Jagermeister.
“The bar shoe is off,” the trainer said. “We think [the hoof] grew out enough now. I was really pleased with the work.” It was that work she needed to see before she was convinced the 2018 Horse of the Meet should return.
The eight-horse line-up in the six-furlong sprint is a Canterbury greatest hits collection including 2020 Crocrock winner Fireman Oscar, all-time leading Minnesota bred money earner and 2018 Crocrock champ Hot Shot Kid, speedy stakes winner Drop of Golden Sun and likely 3-year-old of the meet Thealligatorhunter.
The Crocrock Sprint will go as race 9 on a 12-race program that begins at 4pm.
Mr. Jagermeister’s 2-year-old full sister Amaretto Di Amore, also trained by Lund and ridden by Fuentes, will run in the Northern Lights Debutante. She debuted Aug. 17, raced forwardly early before getting pinched back, dropping seven lengths off the pace, only to charge on late to finish second to Start Singing who she will face again Wednesday. The morning line has the filly slotted at 8 to 1.
Come Thursday morning, Lund will load 3-year-old Bodenheimer onto a van and haul him to Kentucky Downs to run in a 6 1/2 furlong Grade 2 turf stakes, the $600,000 Franklin-Simpson. The race will be the tenth on the Kentucky Downs Saturday program. Also entered is Mystic Lake Derby winner King of Miami.