Mr. Jagermeister Posts Speedy Final Breeze Ahead of the Hot Spring Stakes
Mr. Jagermeister was in a hurry to complete major preparations for the $200,000 Hot Springs Stakes for older sprinters March 13 at Oaklawn.
Breezing over a fast track before the first surface renovation break Saturday morning at Oaklawn, Mr. Jagermeister covered 5 furlongs in :58.80 under Rocco Bowen, a time that was the fastest of 45 works published at the distance. Clockers caught the multiple stakes winner galloping out 6 furlongs in 1:11.60 and 7 furlongs in 1:25.80.
“He worked awesome,” co-owner/trainer Valorie Lund said.
Lund said Bowen will have the return call on Mr. Jagermeister in the 6-furlong Hot Springs, which is expected to mark the 2021 debut of Whitmore for co-owner/trainer Ron Moquett. Whitmore has won the Hot Springs a record four consecutive years and clinched an Eclipse Award as the country’s champion male sprinter of 2020 with a victory in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) Nov. 7 at Keeneland in his last start.
Mr. Jagermeister, in his 2021 debut, finished third, beaten a length, in the $150,000 King Cotton Stakes Feb. 6 at Oaklawn.
“I was really short for that race,” Lund said. “We got started later than I wanted to. He really needed two more works and so I was real happy with the third. I wound up giving him more time off than I originally planned. I thought I was short coming in there. I think he’ll improve five lengths.”
Mr. Jagermeister, a 6-year-old son of Atta Boy Roy, was making his first start since finishing fourth in an Aug. 13 allowance race at Canterbury Park. Mr. Jagermeister has made five career starts at Oaklawn. He also ran second to future male sprint champion Mitole in the $150,000 Bachelor Stakes for 3-year-olds in 2018, won an allowance race in 2019, was second to Whitmore in the 2020 Hot Springs and ninth to Whitmore in last April’s $350,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3).
“This is the year,” Lund said.
Bred in Minnesota by Lund’s sister, Kristin Boice, Mr. Jagermeister has an 11-5-3 mark from 26 lifetime starts and earnings of $605,194. Lund trained Frangelica, the dam of Mr. Jagermeister, and Atta Boy Roy, a Grade 2 winner of $602,276.
Lund said she hasn’t considered retiring Mr. Jagermeister to stud, noting Atta Boy Roy raced until he was 8.
“As long as he’s sound,” Lund said, referring to Mr. Jagermeister. “A couple of times, he’s done things to set himself back. Kicked the wall, he sprained his hock, he did some stuff. He’s a very sound horse. To me, he’s just now coming into himself. It’s a real slow developing line. I was just telling Rocco that Atta Boy Roy didn’t win a stake when he was 3. He got beat by all the 3-year-olds. He won his first stake when he was 4. And the year he was 4, he got withers. He was a real round-shouldered colt. Then he turned 4, he finally got withers. Right now, I don’t have any plans to retire him.”
The Hot Springs is among five stakes races to be run March 13 at Oaklawn, the others being the $150,000 Temperence Hill for older horses at 1 ½ miles, $350,000 Azeri (G2) for older females at 1 1/16 miles, $500,000 Essex Handicap for older horses at 1 1/16 miles and the $1 million Rebel (G2) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles. Post positions for the races will be drawn Tuesday.
The Hot Springs is the final major local prep for the $500,000 Count Fleet (G3) April 10. Whitmore is a three-time winner of the Count Fleet.
Multiple graded stakes winner Envoutante worked 5 furlongs 1:00 Saturday morning at Oaklawn for trainer Kenny McPeek in advance of the $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) for older fillies and mares March 13. Clockers caught the daughter of Uncle Mo galloping out 6 furlongs in 1:12.20 and 7 furlongs in 1:26. The track was rated fast. Envoutante is among five horses, previously based in Florida, that arrived Wednesday night for McPeek. The others on the grounds are Oliviaofthedesert and Tabor Hall, who were scheduled to run in Saturday’s $300,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies; Mrs. O’Connell, entered in a first-level allowance race for 3-year-old fillies Thursday; and a maiden, Salit, another 3-year-old filly. Mrs. O’Connell and Salit are by 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Mrs. O’Connell is out of Jemima’s Pearl, who ran third in the $300,000 Fantasy Stakes (G2) for 3-year-old fillies in 2012 at Oaklawn. … Harpers First Ride, a candidate for the $500,000 Essex Handicap for older horses March 13 at Oaklawn, worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.40 Saturday morning for trainer Robertino Diodoro. … Diodoro, Oaklawn’s leading trainer last year, had three winners Friday. Diodoro won the third race with favored Flatoya ($4.80), fifth race with favored California Swing ($5) and the seventh race with favored True Castle ($4.60). David Cohen, Oaklawn’s leading rider in 2019, rode Flatoya and California Swing for three-time defending Oaklawn leading owner M and M Racing (Mike and Mickala Sisk). … Jockey Jon Court recorded his 693rd career Oaklawn victory in Friday’s sixth race aboard Back Ring Luck ($49.20) for trainer Al Cates of Hot Springs. Court, 60, entered Saturday with five victories at the meet. He was Oaklawn’s leading rider in 2000. … Spielberg, runner-up in the $750,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) for 3-year-olds Feb. 27 at Oaklawn, continues to train in Hot Springs as he awaits a flight back to Southern California for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. Spielberg, who is under the care of Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas at Oaklawn, galloped under exercise rider Jade Cunningham before the first surface renovation break Saturday morning. A Tex Sutton Equine Air Transportation flight is scheduled leave Tuesday, with a return flight Wednesday from Southern California scheduled to carry, among others, unbeaten Concert Tour for Baffert. Concert Tour (2 for 2) is scheduled to run in the $1 million Rebel Stakes (G2) for 3-year-olds March 13 at Oaklawn. The Southern California-based Baffert has won the Rebel a record seven times. … Trainer Mac Robertson said multiple stakes winner Amy’s Challenge left Oaklawn Friday for Kentucky, where she will begin a broodmare career. Amy’s Challenge retires with an 8-5-2 record from 21 lifetime starts and earnings of $687,273. She won Oaklawn’s $125,000 Dixie Belle Stakes in 2018, $100,000 American Beauty Stakes in 2019 and $100,000 Spring Fever Stakes in 2019. Amy’s Challenge ran fourth in the Spring Fever Feb. 27, her final career start. … Grade 3 winner Flat Out Speed has been retired and bred to Not This Time, trainer Lynn Chleborad said. Flat Out Speed won 8 of 9 career starts, with her only loss coming with a sixth-place finish in an allowance race last April at Oaklawn.