Dual Grade I winner and leading 3-year-old Maximum Security (New Year’s Day) will skip the GI Runhappy Travers S. Aug. 24 at Saratoga and point to the GI Pennsylvania Derby Sept. 21 at Parx, trainer Jason Servis said Thursday. Servis said the decision was made because the colt “still is not 100%.”
“I don’t like where he’s at. He’s not eating the way I want him to eat and he’s not carrying the weight I’d like to see him carry,” Servis said. “I just want to make sure he’s 100% for his next race and he’s not there right now. The best thing is to wait until he is 100% and point to the Pennsylvania Derby.”
Owned by breeders Gary and Mary West, Maximum Security debuted for a $16,000 tag and scored by daylight to start a four-race winning streak that culminated in a score in the GI Xpressbet Florida Derby. Infamously disqualified from the win in the GI Kentucky Derby, the bay was runner-up in the Pegasus S. June 16 at Monmouth before capturing the GI TVG.com Haskell Invitational last out July 20. Thursday’s news came on the heels of Gary and Mary West’s fellow contender Game Winner also declaring from the Travers.
“With Game Winner out, if Maximum Security was 100%, I’d go to the Travers,” Servis said. “But he’s just not back to where he was. I’ll probably give him a week off and that still gives me more than four weeks until the Pennsylvania Derby. I’m fortunate to have patient owners in the Wests who will allow me to take a step back if I don’t feel the horse is 100%. It’s easy to run. But if I ran him when he wasn’t 100%, you come out of the race saying to yourself, ‘What was I thinking?'”