Dual Grade I winner Maximum Security (New Year’s Day) has been ruled out of an expected start in Saturday’s GI Pennsylvania Derby due to a large colon nephrosplenic entrapment that developed after the colt returned from his morning work Monday. He was rushed to Mid-Atlantic Equine Clinic in Ringoes, N.J., but is now back at Servis’s Monmouth Park barn.
“I’ve spoken to the Wests and they understand that it’s all about the horse. That’s first and foremost,” said trainer Jason Servis. “There’s nothing that anyone could have done to prevent it. It’s one of those things that just happens. It’s unfortunate and the timing is terrible but that’s horse racing.”
Maximum Security breezed three furlongs at Parx in :41.77 Monday morning without incident, but Servis was summoned to the barn at 3:30 p.m. because something was amiss with the bay.
“He was doing great,” Servis said. “But, as soon as I saw him I could tell he was in trouble, so we got him right on the van and sent him to Mid-Atlantic Clinic.”
Maximum Security was seen by Mid-Atlantic Equine Clinic’s Dr. Janik Gasiorowski, who provided the following statement about the colt’s condition:
“Maximum Security went through a severe, acute bout of colic. He got his colon displaced, which is actually very common in Thoroughbred racehorses. He just got his displaced tightly enough that it was extremely painful. He was sent to our clinic immediately and we managed to get him to correct without doing surgery.
From a physiologic standpoint the horse is going to be recovered in a short period of time. We’re talking a couple of weeks and he will be fine. From a racing, training and athletic standpoint he needs a little bit of time off. He went through a big episode and he is going to need some time to recover. As far as his career goes, there are zero long-term ramifications from what he just went through.
The reason horses going through this survive is because of the rapid response of the veterinary team at the track, the trainer’s involvement and the fact that Gary and Mary West were willing to act immediately by doing what is in the horse’s best interests. They’ve chosen not to race and I think that is a wise decision that puts the horse first.”
Servis does not have a time frame for Maximum Security’s return to racing, but is holding out hope for the Breeders’ Cup or “something else that might be out there.”