“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.