Special Reserve took command at the top of the stretch and was never seriously threatened on his way to a one-and-three-quarter-length victory in the G3 Maryland Sprint Match Series Stakes at Pimlico May 15.
It was the first Graded Stakes victory for the five-year-old Midshipman gelding, who has now won three of his last four starts for trainer Michael Maker. Special Reserve entered the Maryland Sprint Stakes off a sharp second in the G3 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland April 24.
Special Reserve bore in slightly at the start but was quickly hustled up to contest the pace with Strike Power. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. was content to keep Special Reserve to the outside of Strike Power while prompting the pace from second as the field entered the far turn. Strike Power took the lead at the top of the stretch and drew off late to post the victory.
Bred in Kentucky by Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc., Special Reserve is out Love Spun, by Hard Spun. Love Spun is a half-sister to multiple Stakes winner Humor at Last and to Original Spin, winner of the G3 Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes and who was G1-placed in both the Test Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Special Reserve is the 42nd career Black Type winner for Midshipman, whose other top runners this year include the unbeaten Kentucky Juvenile Stakes winner Averly Jane, who will race next at Royal Ascot; G2 Californian winner Royal Ship, who is targeting the G1 Hollywood Gold Cup; Stonestreet-owned and Wesley Ward-trained multiple Stakes winner Wink; Bara Lass Stakes winner Happy Sailor and Brig, winner of the Daryl E. Parker Memorial Stakes.
Midshipman is standing the 2021 breeding season at Jonabell Farm for $7,500 stands and nurses.