Maximum Security Survives Stewards’ Inquiry For Haskell Victory

There were tense moments for the team surrounding Maximum Security after Saturday’s Grade 1 Haskell Invitational, watching as the “Inquiry” sign lit up on Monmouth Park’s tote board. Gary and Mary West’s talented sophomore colt had crossed the wire first, as he had in the Kentucky Derby, but an incident with King For A Day at the three-eighths pole was drawing the stewards’ scrutiny.

King For A Day, who defeated Maximum Security last out in the Pegasus, crossed the wire in fifth.

It wasn’t the 20-minute stress test that came following the Run for the Roses, however, as stewards quickly ruled that there would be no change to the official order of finish. Maximum Security crossed the line a length ahead of Mucho Gusto to win the $1 million contest, the son of New Year’s Day scoring his second Grade 1 win of the season under jockey Luis Saez. The 4-5 favorite, trained by Jason Servis, completed nine furlongs over Monmouth’s fast main track in 1:47.56.

The victory earns Maximum Security an expenses-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Classic this fall at Santa Anita Park.

Though Monmouth Park was determined to press on with Saturday’s card after most local tracks cancelled due to the forecast heat index, officials wound up abbreviating and pushing back the rest of the races after the first two had been run. All but the stakes races were cancelled, with a post time of 6:00 p.m. for the first stakes. The Haskell was scheduled for 8:05 p.m., and went off at about 8:15.

Maximum Security broke sharply and Saez sent him out toward the front of the six-horse field in the battle for early position, leaving him three-wide in the clubhouse turn as Bethlehem Road strode out to set the pace. King For A Day was hard-pressed by John Velazquez to maintain his rail position, and responded by jumping up to lead briefly along the inside.

Bethlehem Road was insistent, however, and re-established a half-length advantage down the backstretch to set fractions of :22.92 and :46.71. King For A Day stayed second while Maximum Security was third on the outside. Five of the six runners were covered by just two lengths at this point, as Mucho Gusto and Spun to Run kept pace behind the leading trio. Meanwhile, Everfast was at least 10 lengths behind the pack.

Approaching the far turn, Maximum Security and King For A Day both made moves to pass the frontrunner. Mucho Gusto made his bid on the outside, stretching the colts three-wide across the track around the three-eighths pole. Velazquez checked King For A Day sharply at the rail then, appearing to take off the heels of Maximum Security as he and Mucho Gusto hooked up for the stretch run.

Maximum Security went on with Mucho Gusto doggedly pursuing him into the stretch. Though Joe Talamo asked Mucho Gusto for everything he had in the lane, it wasn’t enough to pass the very game Maximum Security.

“I know there’s going to  be a lot of speed in the race,” said Saez. “I’m not going to go to the lead and let everybody press me, and I had the best post, I think. I just came out of the break from the gate and waited to see how fast they were going. When I saw that everybody wanted take the lead I just stayed right there. And when he came to the half a mile he put me inside in a pretty nice spot, he was traveling good. We I saw (Mucho Gusto), he came outside me, he came close to me and tried to beat me. I just let my horse run and he kept battling with him.”

Saez guided Maximum Security under the wire about a length ahead of Mucho Gusto, and it was open lengths back to Spun to Run in third. Everfast just beat out King For A Day for fourth.

Bred in Kentucky by his owners, Maximum Security is out of the winning Anasheed mare Lil Indy. He debuted for a tag of $16,000, and won his first four races in a row including the G1 Florida Derby. One of the top choices in the Kentucky Derby, Maximum Security crossed the wire first by was historically and controversially disqualified due to interference in the far turn. He returned to finish second to King For A Day in the listed Pegasus Stakes, but rebounded to win the Haskell. Overall, the colt’s record stands at five wins from seven starts for earnings of over $1.2 million.

MAXIMUM SECURITY is your official winner of the https://t.co/nBYFHj6ufh Haskell Invitational @MonmouthPark and has secured his berth into the @BreedersCup Classic! #WinAndYoureIn pic.twitter.com/f0dg96VEuk

— TVG (@TVG) July 21, 2019

Hear remarks from #1 King for a Day Jockey @ljlmvel following the https://t.co/nBYFHj6ufh Haskell Invitational @monmouthpark. @ScottTVG pic.twitter.com/6LQFCIltVm

— TVG (@TVG) July 21, 2019

Maximum Security survives the inquiry this time following the https://t.co/nBYFHj6ufh Haskell. @ScottTVG speaks with the winning connections Jockey Luis Saez. Trainer Jason Servis and Owners Gary and Mary West @MonmouthPark. pic.twitter.com/Tm40WMtN8w

— TVG (@TVG) July 21, 2019

The post Maximum Security Survives Stewards’ Inquiry For Haskell Victory appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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