TORONTO, August 13, 2022 – Secret Reserve, a 4-year-old son of Ontario Sire Giant Gizmo and out of the Smart Strike mare Smart Suzie, emerged from the pack to take the Grade 3 $181,100 Bold Venture, for 3-year-olds and up, Saturday at Woodbine.

It was multiple stakes winner Nobals who took control early in the 6 ½-furlong dash over the Woodbine Tapeta, as Roaring Forties settled into second, Outadore sat third, and Secret Reserve, with Eswan Flores in the irons, positioned in fifth after leaving from post one.

Nobals continued to show the way through a half in :45.50, a half-length ahead of Roaring Forties. Flores maintained a patient hand aboard Secret Reserve, still fifth, as the 13-horse field then picked up steam heading into the turn for home.

It was a cavalry charge at the top of the lane, with Flores and the dark bay, full of run, finding a seam between rivals then punching through to move into third, now a neck behind the leader, at the stretch call timed in 1:09.91.

Avie’s Flatter picked up the chase and began to close with purpose, while Candy Overload quickly gobbled up ground from well back.

At the wire, Secret Reserve, trained by Mike Mattine, was a half-length winner. Candy Overload finished a head in front of Avie’s Flatter for second, while Lucky Score rallied to secure fourth.

The final time was 1:16.19.

“It’s a good feeling,” said Flores, who recorded his first Woodbine stakes victory. “Mike and I talked before the race. We thought there was speed in the race, so we tried to use that to our advantage, to make a good move at the end.” ​

Bred in Ontario, Secret Reserve is owned by Carlo D’Amato and Stacey Van Camp.

The gelding, now 5-1-1 from 10 starts, won last year’s Elgin Stakes and Lake Superior Stakes.

“Last time, in the Ontario Jockey Club, he was stuck on the rail and just got beat,” noted Mattine. “Today, I told Eswan, at some point, to try and get off the rail and just sit a few lengths out of it, and he rode a perfect race.” ​

Secret Reserve paid $22.70, $10.90 and $7.40. Candy Overload ($9.50, $5.90) rounded out a $155.40 exactor. Avie’s Flatter ($5.40) completed a $1,174.60 Ontario Bred triactor, while a $1 superfecta with Lucky Score returned $5,843.10. Tap It to Win and Clayton were scratched.