Bodenheimer, “just like a tiger”, readies for BC Juvenile Turf Sprint

“I’m so excited,” trainer Valorie Lund said yesterday about the upcoming Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland where her colt Bodenheimer will race in the $1 million BC Juvenile Turf Sprint at five and one-half furlongs. There are hundreds and hundreds of racehorse trainers in the country but few that make it to North America’s biggest thoroughbred event. That is not lost on Lund who will make her second Breeders’ Cup start, having run Bodenheimer’s sire Atta Boy Roy, a graded stakes winner, in the 2010 BC Sprint.

“It’ll be tough,” she said, looking at the competition pre-entered. Twenty-four 2-year-olds were pre-entered, the most in any of the 14 Breeders’ Cup races. A field of 14 will be allowed. Bodenheimer is guaranteed a stall in the starting gate through a Win and You’re in victory at Keeneland in the Oct. 4 Indian Summer.

Lund expects Golden Pal, one of 10 pre-entered in this race by trainer Wesley Ward, to be the favorite based on his impressive Aug. 21 stakes win at Saratoga. That start was his most recent. Lund has watched the progress of Golden Pal, noting the slow works at Keeneland in September followed by quick works in October over the Keeneland turf signaling the foe will be ready. She also acknowledges that 2-year-olds can improve dramatically in a short time and that the speedy Bodenheimer is “as good as he can be” and fully expects him to take “a step forward” next Friday. The Juvenile Turf Sprint is the sixth race on the program and the first Breeders’ Cup race, with a 1:30 central post time.

“Oh my goodness. [Bodenheimer] wasn’t galloping like this into the Indian Summer,” Lund said. “It’s amazing to me the way he is training.”

She says he is training so well and aggressively that she waits to take him to the track until later in the morning when there is “less traffic” on the Ashwood Training Center oval, just north of Keeneland, home to Lund’s stable. “He is so powerful right now. He’s just a tiger,” Lund said.
Bodenheimer, whose career began at Canterbury Park, has won three of four starts. The lone loss, a fifth-place finish at Kentucky Downs over a boggy course, can be forgiven according to Lund. The wet and deep turf was just not for him.

“He was body sore after racing at Kentucky Downs,” she said. “It took a week to 10 days to get him back to normal after trying so hard over that course.”

The Indian Summer win makes Bodenheimer just one of two expected to start Friday with a race over the Keeneland turf. “That should be to my advantage,” Lund said.
Lund trains the Washington-bred Bodenheimer, a $27,000 yearling purchase, for her mother, Marylou Holden, and sister Kristin Boice. The colt has earned $141,225.

Bodenheimer was supposed to work Thursday at Keeneland on the grass but persistent rain caused a change in plans. “If the main track is okay I’ll work him on main track Friday or Saturday,” she said, expecting that turf workouts might not be allowed.
Breeders’ Cup rules require all entrants to arrive at Keeneland no later than Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. Until then Bodenheimer will remain at Ashwood. “He is comfortable at home,” Lund said.

Entries for the Nov. 6 and 7 Breeders’ Cup close Monday with post positions announced that afternoon. Lund is hoping for an inside post draw allowing Bodenheimer to take advantage of his early speed.

Advance wagering at Canterbury Park begins Thursday, Nov. 5 at noon. The BC Advance past performances from Daily Racing Form are on sale now at Canterbury.

Lund made the decision this summer to move her operation to Kentucky, leaving her former base of Turf Paradise in Phoenix where there was uncertainty. The track recently announced a race meet beginning in January but that has come too late for several that called Turf Paradise home for years. Lund has put her Phoenix home up for sale and has shifted everything to Kentucky. She intends to race in Shakopee this summer and currently has run at Keeneland and Churchill as well as Indiana Downs.

Lund also revealed that she reached an agreement to purchase, along with Boice, Atta Boy Roy and will move the stallion to Kentucky where he will stand stud at War Horse Place. She has had success with the sire who produced Minnesota-bred Mr. Jagermeister, stakes winner of $590, 194.

Bodenheimer Wins Indian Summer; On To Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint

Trainer Valorie Lund spoke highly of the 2-year-old colt Bodenheimer before his smashing 11 ¼ length win at Canterbury Park on July 29. She dared mention Breeders’ Cup. On Sunday at Keeneland, Bodenheimer proved her accurate with a gate-to-wire victory in the win-and-you’re-in Indian Summer Stakes, earning a place in the starting gate at Keeneland Nov. 6 for the $1 million G2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at 5 ½ furlongs.

“We’re so thrilled because this means an opportunity to take him to the Breeders’ Cup which I’ve never had a 2-year-old that I thought early in the year was good enough,” Lund said in a post-race interview Sunday. She knew she had something special when she began to breeze the horse towards his first race.

Bodenheimer was a $27,000 purchase in the Washington September sale last year for owners

Bodeheimer at Canterbury Park

Kristin Boice and Marylou Holden. He a Washington bred by Atta Boy Roy and will be the seventh from The Evergreen State to run in the Breeders’ Cup. None of the previous six were winners.

“I’ve gone to the sale quite often,” Lund said.  The yearling’s caretaker sent Lund a photo and she “liked the balance of the colt.” She made plans to fly to Washington. At the time Lund thought “if he looks like this in person, we want him.”

Lund, who has for several years kept a summer stable at Canterbury, campaigned the sire Atta Boy Roy to 14 wins from 36 starts from 2008 to 2013 with a graded stakes win and Breeders’ Cup Sprint appearance along the way. Atta Boy Roy is also the sire of another Lund runner, the multiple stakes winner of $590,000, Mr. Jagermeister.

Brian Hernandez, Jr. was aboard Sunday and will be again five Fridays from now. The veteran jockey has 13 Breeders’ Cup mounts with a win in the Classic in 2012 on Fort Larned for trainer Ian Wilkes. Hernandez in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup had two seconds and a third. His mounts have earned $3.82 million on North American racing’s biggest day.

Lund shipped her stable to Ashwood Training Center in September, located in Lexington, KY just 20 minutes from Keeneland.   Before entering Bodenheimer at Kentucky Downs for the Turf Sprint Sept. 12, she contacted Churchill Downs racing secretary Ben Huffman regarding a jockey. It was determined a Kentucky-based rider would be best just in case something  goes amiss with jockey protocol before November. Given a list of riders and agent phone numbers she got in touch with Hernandez’ agent and that was that.

It has been 10 years since Lund was fortunate to have a Breeders’ Cup quality horse in Atta Boy Roy. It’s not something she plans for.  Not all trainers have the luxury of shedrows full of multi-million dollar 2-year-olds.  Those that don’t work hard with what they have, always on the lookout for that next ‘big horse’ and able to recognize one should it materialize. Lund has been on this stage before. “I’ll sleep just fine,” she said. With five weeks to go, Lund will approach the Breeders’ Cup the same way she did the Indian Summer.

“I took him over last week [to Keeneland] and breezed him.   I’ll train him exactly the same.  Ship him over to breeze for his works.   He’s a real good shipper and calm in the stall.” Once protocols for final ship-in dates are set she will send Bodenheimer to Keeneland with a groom and await the race but until then Ashwood Training Center is the perfect home.

The Keeneland Fall meet continues with a Wednesday through Sunday schedule until Oct. 24 and then racing returns for Breeders’ Cup. Canterbury’s Racebook is open daily. Reservations for the Friday of Breeders’ Cup are free and can be made HERE. Tickets for Nov. 7 are on sale now.

Mr. Jagermeister seeks graded stakes win in Saturday’s Ack Ack at Churchill Downs

Minnesota-bred Mr. Jagermeister will attempt to add a graded stakes win to his impressive resume on Saturday at Churchill Downs in the $150,000 Ack Ack Stakes, a grade three one-turn mile where he drew post six in a nine-horse field. Leandro Goncalves will ride in the Ack Ack for trainer Valorie Lund.

The 4-year-old has won seven stakes, all but one restricted to state breds.  He defeated open company in the $100,000 Chesapeake, a sprint stake at Colonial Downs on Aug. 17, before returning to Canterbury to win the $100,000 Crocrock Sprint Championship Sept. 1, his most recent race, a dash restricted to Minnesota breds. In all, the son of Atta Boy Roy has won 10 of 17 starts and $493,537 in purses.

Canterbury Park’s 2018 Horse of the Year was shipped to Churchill shortly after the Crocrock and has been training well there, including a bullet five furlong work last Sunday.

“He really likes the track,” Lund said. “I mean he really likes it. He goes so easy.” This comes as no surprise to his trainer as Mr. Jagermeister’s sire, also trained by Lund, did his best running at Churchill including a win in the grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes.

Mr. Jagermeister once before was entered in a graded stakes, the grade 2 San Vicente at Santa Anita in February of 2018, coming off a nearly five-month layoff. After dueling through blistering fractions he tired.

Saturday could be a different story as the colt is as sharp as he has ever been.

“I think he is the right horse for this race,” Lund said. “If he brings his ‘A-game’ he will be tough to beat.”

Top trainers from across the country have entered experienced runners in the Ack Ack including Steve Asmussen, Dale Romans, Al Stall, Jr., and Phil D’Amato. Many of the horses have been tested in graded events and have won.

Timeline is a two-time grade three winner, but those came in 2017 for trainer Chad Brown when he won the Peter Pan at Belmont and the Pegasus at Monmouth before going favored in the grade 1 Haskell and running up the track.  He is now under the care of Asmussen, has not raced since Dec. 1, 2018, and has eight works at Churchill leading into Saturday.

Mr Freeze, trained by Romans, won the 2018 West Virginia Derby, a grade 3, but has not won since in just three tries. Air Strike is the highweight in the field carrying 125 pounds. He won the grade 2 Triple Bend at Santa Anita on May 25 at 12 to 1 odds and has since finished fourth in both the grade 1 Bing Crosby at Del Mar and the grade 1 Forego at Saratoga. Trainer D’Amato has been prepping Air Strike at Santa Anita showing three published workouts.

With few confirmed front runners, Mr. Jagermeister may control the early pace.

“I never tell my rider to go for the lead,” Lund said but she has a feeling Goncalves may end up there.

Mr Freeze showed his traditional speed recently in one mile Ellis allowance but was reeled in by Mr Darcy who is also entered in the Ack Ack. Mr Darcy has proven to be tactical and enters Saturday’s stake off a second-place finish Sept. 13 racing six furlongs at Churchill, a surface on which he has competed eight times, winning twice, finishing second four times and third once.

The Ack Ack will be the seventh race on Churchill’s 11-race twilight card that begins at 5 p.m. central. Post time for the race is set for 8:05 p.m.

“This is a very good field of horses,” Lund said. “That’s what you get at Churchill. [Mr. Jagermeister] is really good right now. I’m excited.”

Canterbury Race Book will offer Win bet insurance on the race. Guests making a $20 Win bet on Mr. Jagermeister will receive a refund on the bet if he fails to win but runs second. The offer applies to the first $20 win wager on Mr. Jagermeister only and the wager must be made using the MVP Rewards player card. Should he run second, those refunds will be made in MVP Rewards points mid-week and can be converted to cash.