Horse Racing

Special Reserve Target for Phoenix Title Defense

After missing the first half of the year due to a knee chip sustained in the Qatar Breeders’ Cup (G1) Sprint in 2021 at Del Mar, Special Reserve is getting back into shape just in time for a fall campaign.

Last year’s Stoll Keenon winner Ogden Phoenix Stakes (G2) will look to defend his title on October 7 at Keenelandwhich marked the greatest victory of his career to date, and began his extended 3 1/2 win on August 6 at the Senator Robert C. Byrd Memorial in St. Climbing mountant man. The comeback win was a gratifying one for coach Mike Maker, who saw Special Reserve give way to seventh in his start of the year, July 16 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Staking (G3) at Laurel Park.

MITCHELL: Special Reserve holds Late Challenge to win Phoenix

“The return race was disappointing, but we forgave him and managed to get him to the (next) race with the best time, which turned out to be in Mountaineer,” Maker said. “He’s rewarded us with a win and hopefully he’ll secure the win at Phoenix.”

Claimed by Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher for $40,000 last February at Oaklawn ParkSpecial Reserve ran no worse than second last year across six starts for his relationships as he advanced in conditions, including a runner-up finish just half a foot away from the Lexitonian. length in Handicap Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1) at Racecourse Saratoga. In the seventh and final start of a season where he also won the Maryland Sprint (G3) and Iowa Sprint Stakes, the 6-year-old Boatman gelding next Wednesday Hello West in the Breeders Cup Sprint (G1). It was the opponent he held back before defeating the six-feathered Phoenix by the neck.

Registration for

“He’s a lovely horse and we’ve had great success with him,” Maker said. “When we announced that he was still eligible for his conditions, and with his wallet in Oaklawn, we were only hoping to get to condition 2 outside and make a little money, but he didn’t. overtake us and have a great year.”

The Special Reserve faces seven opponents in its bid to become Phoenix’s seventh consecutive winner, scheduled to be the seventh race in the season meeting’s 10-race opening day card. autumn, with a time after 4:12 p.m. ET . Tyler Gaffalione has the stand from lesson 2.

“He’s got natural pace and we’re not going to take anything away from him; he’s a great horse and hopefully he’ll be placed forward,” Maker said of his tactics. Friday.

Sibelius winner of the Lite the Fuse Stakes contest September 10 at Racecourse Pimlico. Saratoga is for coach Jeremiah O’Dwyer. Junior Alvarado got a call from lesson 5 over 5 years old Not this time gelding.

Long Range Toddy was the only other ranked bet winner in the field, but that win stemmed from Rebel Staking 2019 (G2), with a 24-game period starting without a win since. The field is completed by the winners Top marksman , Necker Island , Sir Alfred James and Manny Wah two of which are graded as deposit, and by subsidized winners Baytown Bear who was second to the Special Reserve at Mountaineer but last sixth in the Louisville Thoroughbred Society on September 17 in Churchill Downs after a third in the Rumson Shares on September 4 at Monmouth Park.

The Phoenix is ​​the Breeder Challenge event for the November 5 Qatar Breeders Cup Sprint, which will be held this year in Keeneland. Two Phoenix winners won Breeders’ Cup Sprint: Runhappy in 2015 and Work All Week in 2014.

Item: Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix S. (G2)

KeenelandFriday, October 7, 2022, Race 7

  • Level II
  • 6f
  • Dust
  • $350,000
  • 3 years or more
  • 4:12 pm (local)


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