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LEXINGTON, KY – Red-hot Just Might brings his 4-stakes win streak into Keeneland for his toughest dirt test yet in Friday’s $250,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes (G2).
The Phoenix is a 6-furlong dirt sprint open to all horses ages 3 and up that serves as the eighth event on a 10-race card with a local post time of 5:10 PM. The race is also a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, awarding an automatic berth in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Del Mar this November.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the Phoenix:
1. Quick Tempo 20/1 – The speedy Chris Davis trainee seemingly lost all chance in the Rumson Stakes when he hopped at the start, but he remained engaged and finished just a neck behind the winner. Jockey Sophie Doyle, aboard for the Rumson and his runner-up Iowa Sprint Stakes finish, wins 19% overall for the Davis barn. He won last December’s 6-furlong Sugar Bowl Stakes at Fair Grounds.
2. Mucho 6/1 – He’s finally hit his stride at age 5, winning his first stakes in July’s 6-furlong Challedon at Pimlico between runner-up finishes by a nose in the 7-furlong Kelly’s Landing and by a head in the 6-furlong Chesapeake at Colonial Downs last time out. While 5 of his 6 career wins came at this distance, as did his career-best Beyer Speed Figure (95), he’s 0 for 3 with just 1 third at Keeneland.
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3. Endorsed 6/1 – He rallied from last of six to take second in the 6-furlong Louisville Thoroughbred Society Stakes at Churchill Downs last time out, finishing 3/4 of a length behind the winner (drawn directly to his outside here). That was his first start since trainer Mike Maker claimed him for $100k from owner/breeder Godolphin, and Maker is known for improving pricey older horses off claims.
4. Just Might 9/2 – He gamely wired the Louisville Thoroughbred Society last time out, adding to a streak including the Chesapeake on dirt and the Da Hoss and the Mighty Beau on turf. He doesn’t usually win by much, but he’s shown to be a tenacious fighter once he gets his nose in front and his dirt record at this distance is 3-2-1-0. Trainer Michelle Lovell also co-owns and co-bred him.
5. Aloha West 3/1 – He steps back up to the stakes ranks for the second time after winning a pair of Saratoga dirt sprints against optional claiming rivals. He was fourth in the Kelly’s Landing 3 starts back in his only start without race-day Lasix (which he’ll face again here), so bettors will need to ponder if his loss was the result of extra distance (he’s 2 for 3 at 6 furlongs) or the lack of Lasix.
6. Special Reserve 9/5 – He’s done little wrong since trainer Mike Maker claimed him for $40k out of a 6-furlong sprint victory at Oaklawn Park in February, rattling off 3 wins and 2 seconds in 5 subsequent starts, 4 of which came against stakes rivals. He won the Maryland Sprint (G3) and the Iowa Sprint prior to finishing second by a 1/2-length in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1) last time out.
7. Sir Alfred James 9/2 – New owner/trainer Norman Cash sends him straight into the deep end after claiming him for $62.5k out of a 6-furlong Churchill Downs sprint score that garnered him a career-best 103 Beyer. While that figure is the higher than anyone else in this field has earned, it’s also much higher than his previous best (95), putting him at risk to bounce. Cash wins 16% first off the claim.
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