John Pinkerton’s Black Ops led at every call en route to a 3 3/4-length victory in Saturday‘s 6 1/2-furlong, $55,000 Budweiser Special Stakes at Albuquerque Downs.
Ridden by Frank Reyes for trainer Justin Evans, Black Ops covered the distance in 1 minute, 15.12 seconds, less than one second off of the track record of 1:14.15 set by Royal Meridian on Sept. 28, 2014. The 6-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Hard Spun earned $33,000 from his sixth win in 25 starts.
“My instructions were to put him on the lead,” said Reyes. “We had to go a little faster than I wanted to early, but when I asked him late he gave me everything we needed.”
Black Ops was making his first start against Thoroughbreds since April 14. However, after his third-place finish in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance-optional claiming race at Sunland Park on that date, the gelding competed against Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds in four 870-yard races, winning two of them.