It’s not everyday a race horse that starts their career at Canterbury Park ends up on Keeneland’s opening day entries in the Grade 1: Alcibiades Stakes which will be run on October 6th.
Amy’s Challenge, a 2 year old filly by Artie Schiller out of the mare Jump Up (Jump Start) has dazzled in her two starts at Canterbury. She won the first by 16 1/2 lengths and posting a Beyer speed figure of 91.
Her latest start came in Shakopee Juvenile against male counterparts that included the speedy Mr. Jagermeister who also has shown a keen turn of foot. Mr. Jagermeister is one of the fastest Minnesota-bred horses possibly ever. He won his debut by 11 1/2 lengths and then was bested at Prairie Meadows by Grade 3: Iroqouis winner, The Tabulator. It looked like in that race that jockey Andrew Ramgeet lost focus and peaked back to his inside when he could have been riding Mr. Jagermeister to stay on the lead rather than getting collared by The Tabulator before being forced to try and fight back after losing the lead. Mr. Jagermeister ran a huge race against Amy’s Challenge and actually was ahead by almost a neck when he began to lug in towards the rail. Ramgeet again put more focus in straightening his horses path immediately when he could have continued to ride and let Mr. Jagermeister learn on his own and pinned Amy’s Challenge inside. Instead, Ramgeet pulled the horses head back to the outside slowing his momentum and let Amy’s Challenge come back on the rail and take the lead. Not that she didn’t earn it, she clearly has a huge heart. My personal feelings were that there could have been some more race riding out there and that just was not the case.
The immediate future holds the following questions. Will Mac Robertson truly enter the Alcibiades or will he opt to enter Amy’s Challenge in the Jessamine Stakes on October 11th.
She might truly be better off waiting for the Jessamine Stakes. She is well bred to run on the grass and it might be a better idea for her to point towards the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Knowing that Mac Robertson is a tough-nosed hard working horse trainer, I expect him to enter Amy’s Challenge in the Alcibiades after seeing his comments in the Paulick Report. Though in the past, if everyone thinks Mac is going left, he tends to go right. It is completely possible that the turf race intrigues him more.
He entered Canterbury Park 3 year-old of the Year, Hot Shot Kid in the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby instead of running him in what would have been pretty much as close to a guarantee win as you can get in the Minnesota Derby.
I wish Mac the best and the owners’ Amy and Joe Novogratz all the luck in whichever route they take.
For the first time in my life, I am debating getting in the car to drive to Lexington just to see the hometown horse take on the real thing in Kentucky.
We’ll find out on Tuesday or Wednesday which way they will point.