TORONTO, October 22, 2021 – The $80,000 Lake Superior Stakes, part of the Ontario Sire Heritage Series, saw Secret Reserve sprint away with top prize Friday at Woodbine.
The seven-panel turf event for colts and geldings is part of the Ontario Sire Heritage Series (see Thunder Bay recap for more info).
A pair of longshots, Maakwa and All Canadian, were quickest out of the gate engaging one another early, as Secret Reserve, riding a two-race win streak, was settled into third spot by Rafael Hernandez through an opening quarter-mile that was timed in :23.51.
Maakwa, at 22-1, and All Canadian, at 20-1, continued to run one-two through a half-mile in :47.18, with Secret Reserve, now positioned along the rail, running along comfortably in fourth, a head behind Red River Rebel.
As the frontrunners began to fade, several closers were launching their respective bids, while Secret Reserve had clear running along the inside. A length ahead at the stretch call, Secret Reserve braced for the challenge of hard-charging Dragon’s Brew, who was breathing down his neck to the outside.
Secret Reserve, however, was able to find another gear in the late stages and went on to win by two lengths. Dragon’s Brew (7-1) was one length in front of third-place finisher Perfect Crime (46-1).
The final time over ‘good’ going on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course was 1:24.70.
“We saved all the ground and got to the rail turning for home,” noted Hernandez. “It was a perfect trip. He ran before on the turf, but I never was on the back of him on the turf. Today, he looked like he can handle it too, even on the kind of soft turf.”
A son of Giant Gizmo-Smart Suzie, Secret Reserve arrived at the Lake Superior in great form, winning an optional claiming race on July 24 at Woodbine, following up that performance with a victory in the Elgin Stakes on August 29.
He is now 4-0-0 from five career starts, including a win in his career bow last September.
Trained by Mike Mattine, and owned by Carlo D’Amato and Stacey Van Camp, the dark bay, bred by Dr. Brian Van Arem, returned $4.80 as the 7-5 choice.