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Special Reserve another claim to fame for Maker

Stakes recap by Keeneland’s media department (Keeneland photo of Special Reserve, second from right under Joel Rosario, capturing the Grade 2 Phoenix.)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Friday, Oct. 8, 2021) — Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher’s Special Reserve overhauled pacesetting Quick Tempo at the top of the stretch and then held off a late bid from Aloha West to win the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2).

Trained by Mike Maker and ridden by Joel Rosario, Special Reserve covered 6 furlongs on the fast main track in 1:08.54.

With the victory, Special Reserve earned a fees-paid berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) to be run Nov. 6 at Del Mar.

Video: Interviews with Rosario, Maker, Staudacher

Special Reserve broke on top out of the gate but quickly surrendered the lead to Quick Tempo, who led the field through fractions of :21.90.

Turning for home, Special Reserve shook off a brief bid from Just Might, opened a daylight margin and had enough left to hold off Aloha West.

The victory was worth $150,000 and increased Special Reserve’s earnings to $638,647 with a record of 22-8-2-7. It is the second graded-stakes victory for the 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Midshipman out of the Hard Spun mare Love Spun.

Sent off as the favorite in the field of seven, Special Reserve returned $4.40, $2.80 and $2.20. Aloha West, ridden by Jose Ortiz, returned $3 and $2.40 and finished 2 lengths in front of Mucho, who paid $4.80 to show under Reylu Gutierrez.

It was another 3 lengths back to Endorsed, who was followed in order Sir Alfred James, Just Might and Quick Tempo.

Jennie Rees is a communications and advocacy specialist in the horse industry who spent 32 years covering horse racing for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal before taking a corporate buyout. In addition to handling communications for the Kentucky HBPA, Rees is Kentucky Downs’ publicity director, manages in-season racing publicity for Ellis Park and serves as a consultant to the National HBPA. Other projects include the Preakness Stakes, Indiana Grand’s Indiana Derby Week and work for various HBPA affiliates and horsemen’s associations.