Alex Canchari, who decided this year to ride regularly in Kentucky, clinched his first Keeneland victory in Sunday’s first race when he rode Boxer Boy for trainer Doug Anderson, who owns the 3-year-old Algorithms gelding with Nelson McMakin and Fred Dolezal. At odds of 13-1, Boxer Boy won the 1 1/16-mile race by a neck in 1:44.61.
“My first win (at Keeneland) – finally,” Canchari, 23, said. “It feels amazing because I ride for (Anderson) year-round at all different tracks. He’s always supporting me, and to get the first win for him was amazing, incredible.”
Canchari, who is from Shakopee, Minnesota, said the competition in Kentucky has been difficult, but he is thankful for the opportunity to ride at Keeneland.
“It’s been a little tough, it’s been a little slow because I’m used to riding every race and winning two to three a day,” he said. “But I understand it’s the best colony, so I’m happy to be here and just riding what I can.”
On Thursday, Canchari will have his first chance at a graded stakes win at Keeneland in the $100,000 Sycamore (G3) when he rides Majestic Pride for trainer Mac Robertson and owners Hugh Robertson, Jeff Ryan and Gary Chanen. The 5-year-old horse by Artie Schiller is coming off a sixth-place finish in the Aug. 26 Brook Fields at Canterbury Park, a race he won in 2016.
Four races after Canchari’s victory, apprentice Edgar Morales scored the first win of his career when he rode Kay Stillman’s Star Dog to a half-length victory. Jack Van Berg trains the winner, a 5-year-old Colorado-bred gelding by Affirmatif who took the 1 1/8-mile race in 1:51.93. Stillman and Van Berg bred Star Dog.