Champion Maximum Security (New Year's Day) was “good” Sunday morning following an all-out effort for a nose victory in Saturday's GII San Diego H. at Del Mar, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert told the Del Mar notes team.
“I actually thought he was pretty good right after the race being that I only had him about 80%,” Baffert said. “I didn't think he'd have to do a stop-and-go movement [during the race] but he showed what a great horse he is.”
Making his first start for Baffert, first in five months, and under new jockey Abel Cedillo, Maximum Security vied with Midcourt (Midnight Lute) for the lead through the first quarter in :23.74, dropped back to third, 2 1/2 lengths behind Midcourt at the half-mile mark, rallied to draw even with an eighth of a mile to go and prevailed by a nose at the end of the 1 1/16-mile race.
“It's a good starting point, we learned a lot about the horse, now we're caught up and he's ready to go,” Baffert said.
Either the GI TVG Pacific Classic Aug. 22 at Del Mar or the GI Woodward S. Sept. 5 at Saratoga is next for the 4-year-old, Baffert added, with the former a more likely proposition.
“The Pacific Classic or the Woodward, depending … but I like the Pacific Classic,” Baffert said. “He brings his racetrack with him. He's got a lot of will to win, he's courageous and a smart horse. There's just something about him, he's got a lot of will to win. He's got a lot of W's by his name and there's a reason for that.”