Stablemates Maximum Security (New Year’s Day) and ‘TDN Rising Star‘ Improbable (City Zip) will face one another in Saturday’s GI Awesome Again S. at Santa Anita, trainer Bob Baffert has confirmed.
Baffert had earlier discussed shipping Maximum Security to New York for the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup, but instead will race him this weekend in his own backyard.
Via text, Baffert said he thought the race was a good fit for both horses because he likes the spacing and the fact that no one has to ship. The Jockey Club Gold Cup will be run Oct. 10, two weeks after the Awesome Again.
With the two Baffert stars set to meet one another, the Awesome Again could decide who will be the favorite in the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic. Coming off wins in the GII San Diego H. and the GI TVG Pacific Classic, Maximum Security will be favored in the Awesome Again, but Improbable has strong credentials, as well. He has won two in a row, the GI Hollywood Gold Cup and the GI Whitney S.
The list of possible starters for the $300,000 race also includes Higher Power (Medaglia d’Oro), Midcourt (Midnight Lute), Sharp Samurai (First Samurai), Sleepy Eyes Todd (Paddy o’Prdao) and Take the One O One (Acclamation).
A win in the Awesome Again, formerly known as the Goodwood S., will give Baffert six wins in the race. He is currently tied with Charlie Whittingham for most career wins in the event. The Awesome Again is a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ qualifier, though both Maximum Security and Improbable have already secured berths via their victories in the Pacific Classic and Whitney, respectively.