SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Owner Dean Reeves of Reeves Thoroughbred Racing was hoping for a prosperous Saratoga Race Course meet, but the Suwannee, Georgia native’s expectations have been greatly surpassed with five stakes winners here this summer.
“We had no idea that even right out of the gate we would do so well,” said Reeves, who operates Reeves Thoroughbred Racing with his wife Patti. “I just try to win a couple of races, but to be able to win five stakes races is just a testament to the work everyone in our group has done and the trainers and jockeys to get the job done.”
It didn’t take long for Reeves to hit the ground running. On Opening Weekend, Reeves visited the winner’s circle twice at stakes level with popular New York-bred City Man, owned in partnership with Peter and Patty Searles, who defeated open company in the Grade 3 Forbidden Apple on July 15 for trainer Christophe Clement. Two days later, the Clement-trained Big Invasion – owned outright by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing – kept the upward trajectory afloat when capturing the Grade 3 Quick Call presented by the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. Big Invasion went on to capture the Mahony on Sunday at the Spa.
Reeves also collaborated with trainer Tom Amoss, who secured his 4,000th career victory with Reeves-owned Isolate in last Wednesday’s Tale of the Cat. Reeves saw his fifth stakes winner of the meet on Wednesday as Dakota Gold backed up his 1-5 favoritism for trainer Danny Gargan, capturing the $150,000 NYSSS Cab Calloway for eligible New York-sired sophomores going one mile over the inner turf.
Reeves Thoroughbred Racing are currently third in the owner standings with seven wins as outright owner or managing partner – and have visited the winner’s circle on eight occasions. In addition to their stakes scores and a debut maiden win by Acoustic Ave in July, Reeves teamed up with R. A. Hill Stable to win a starter allowance on August 4 with Miss Domina and added to their ledger Wednesday with an optional-claiming win with Legends Can’t Die in partnership with R.A. Hill Stable, RAP Racing and Chris Mara.
Reeves expressed pride in being able to successfully join forces with a handful of different trainers.
“I’m really happy about that. It just shows you that these trainers are good and if they can get the right horses and so forth, they can get the job done,” Reeves said. “We won turf, dirt, different trainers, different distances, so I’m really proud of our stable of horses. They’ve been on their ‘A’ game.”
In the case of Dakota Gold, Reeves said he was happy with how the son of Freud’s race went. He broke sharply out of the gate and maintained command throughout, fending off a late rally from Marinara Sauced to garner his third career stakes win. The sophomore chestnut entered off a narrow second as the heavy favorite in the Rick Violette on July 21 at the Spa, and also earned stakes triumphs in last year’s open company Nownownow at Monmouth Park and the NYSSS Spectacular Bid on June 19 at Belmont Park.
“We felt like he was the best horse in the race, and we didn’t want to get in trouble,” Reeves said of Dakota Gold. “We felt like we should get out there and take it to them early and if they beat us, so be it. We just felt like we had the best horse.”
In addition to garnering high-caliber success with a variety of different trainers, Reeves has done the same with a strong rotation of jockeys, including Joel Rosario, Manny Franco, Tyler Gaffalione and Irad Ortiz, Jr. – the pilot aboard Dakota Gold.
“We had just gotten great rides from a lot of different jockeys to win these races,” Reeves said. “It’s been spread around, and these jockeys have done a great job on our horses.”
Dakota Gold could jump back into open company for his next effort, which Reeves said could take place in the Grade 3, $300,000 Bryan Station on October 29 at Keeneland. Ever Dangerous captured the 2020 Bryan Station for Reeves at 74-1 odds.
“That’s a good race, we won that with Ever Dangerous a couple years ago and he paid something crazy,” Reeves said. “That’s a good race for Dakota Gold so certainly we’ll start looking at that unless something pops us that we think would fit better. That’s a good one to look at.”
With only three weeks left of the meet, Reeves doesn’t plan on slowing down. He will be represented by City Man in next Friday’s $200,000 West Point presented by Trustco Bank as well as first-out winning juvenile Acoustic Ave in the $200,000 Funny Cide presented by Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital on the same day.
The following weekend, Reeves will be represented by 2020 Champion Turf Horse Channel Maker in the Grade 1, $750,000 Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer – a “Win And You’re In” qualifier for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf. The 8-year-old English Channel gelding will contest his fourth straight Sword Dancer, which he won in 2020 for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.
“He’s just been a spectacular horse to be a part of through his career. He’s just been incredible,” Reeves said. “At his age to keep running at top form, it’s just uncanny that there’s a horse at that age that can still run that well. He’s a unique individual.”
NYRA Press Office
Main photo: Dakota Gold wins the NYSSS Cab Calloway (NYRA/Coglianese)