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Special Reserve Returns To Keeneland To Defend Race Title | 2022 Phoenix Stakes Preview & FREE Picks
Special Reserve beats eventual 2021 Breeders Cup Sprint champion Aloha West in the 2021 Phoenix (Keeneland Photo)

Special Reserve Returns To Keeneland To Defend Race Title | 2022 Phoenix Stakes Preview & FREE Picks

Aaron previews the 2022 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes (G2) at Keeneland, then gives his top picks and longshots from this “Win & You’re In” for the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Special Reserve is back to defend his title, but since his form isn’t as strong as it was coming into last year’s running, will the champ repeat? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!

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Tournament Challenge Championship Series

Compete against the Dudes for HUGE cash prizes and a chance to be crowned the 2022 Racing Dudes Tournament Challenge Champion! Continues Friday and Saturday at the Breeders’ Cup!

The track press release:

Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher’s Special Reserve will face seven rivals Friday in his bid to become the seventh back-to-back winner of the $350,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2) going 6 furlongs on the main track.

Scheduled as the seventh race on the Fall Meet’s opening-day 10-race card, the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix is a “Win and You’re In” race for the $2 million Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) to be run here Nov. 5. Post time for the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix is 4:12 p.m. ET with first post at 1 p.m.

Trained by Mike Maker, Special Reserve won last year’s Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix as the 6-5 favorite by a neck over Aloha West, who would come back four weeks later and win the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Del Mar.

Two Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix winners have won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint with the most recent being Work All Week in 2014 and Runhappy in 2015.

Fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint last year, Special Reserve has run twice this year and enters Friday’s race off a 3½-length victory in the Senator Robert Byrd Memorial at Mountaineer on Aug. 6. Tyler Gaffalione has the mount Friday from post position two.

The field for the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix, with riders and weights from the rail out, is: Sir Alfred James (Rafael Bejarano, 120 pounds), Special Reserve (Gaffalione, 120), Top Gunner (Rey Gutierrez, 120), Baytown Bear (Jack Gilligan, 120), Sibelius (Junior Alvarado, 120), Necker Island (Francisco Arrieta, 120), Manny Wah (Corey Lanerie, 118), Long Range Toddy (Paco Lopez, 120). 

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