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Boys To Men

By Noah Joseph

Last Sunday, Mr. Jagermeister put together another dominating performance. He won the Crocrock Minnesota Sprint Championship to gain a third straight stakes victory on Festival of Champions Day. And while many people think Mr. Jagermeister may be the best horse to ever come from Canterbury Park, at one time it could have been argued that distinction belonged to his sire Atta Boy Roy.

Atta Boy Roy had a very humble beginning. He was born in Washington and sold for $4,500 to Roy Schaffer’s R.E.V. Racing, who sent the colt to Valorie Lund, who also trains Mr.Jagermeister. Atta Boy Roy broke his maiden at Turf Paradise in Arizona in April 2008 and made his Canterbury debut on Memorial Day that same year, winning an allowance race gate to wire by 11 lengths as the favorite under Scott Stevens. After finishing fifth in two consecutive stakes races in Iowa and Minnesota and second in another allowance race at Canterbury, Atta Boy Roy won again in Shakopee. It would be his last race in Shakopee for a while, but while he was away, Atta Boy became a dominant racehorse. He won his first stakes race at Emerald Downs in his home state of Washington in July of 2009 and competed in his first graded stakes race a month later. After winning another stakes race at Emerald Downs, Atta Boy Roy competed in his first Grade 1 race in the Ancient Title at Santa Anita. And while he didn’t win, Atta Boy Roy was far from finished.

The following year, Atta Boy Roy won his first graded stakes race in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes on the Kentucky Derby undercard at 10-1 beating graded stakes winners and future top stallions including Warrior’s Reward, Musket Man, Country Day, and Munnings. Atta Boy Roy then finished second in the Grade 3 Aristides Stakes at Churchill Downs en route to several starts in graded stakes company. He even ran in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, in which he finished 10th. Atta Boy Roy continued to run in graded stakes, but he wasn’t the top horse he once was. After an eighth place finish in a Grade 1 at Saratoga, Atta Boy Roy returned to Canterbury to run in the Shot of Gold Stakes on closing day of the 2011 season, winning as the favorite. It would be his last stakes win though, and he retired in 2013.

He went to stud in his home state of Washington that same year. In 2015, he was mated with Frangelica, another horse trained by Valorie Lund. That foal born in Minnesota was Mr. Jagermeister, who is making a name for himself, locally and nationally. It’s fun to see the similarities between Atta Boy Roy, who produced the man Mr.Jagermeister.

Lund is planning to take Mr. Jagermeister to Churchill Downs, the site of his sire’s top performance, for the Grade 3 Ack Ack Stakes on Sept. 28.