Maximum Security

Op/Ed: If Maximum Security Passed Tests, Owners Should Be Paid

The matter of whether or not Maximum Security (New Year's Day) should be disqualified from his victory in the $20-million Saudi Cup has been made out to be much more complicated than it is. Did any illegal substances show up in any of the battery of tests conducted on Maximum Security before and after the Saudi Cup? If the answer is no, there is no justification for not paying owners Gary and Mary West and partners the $10 million due to the winner. If the answer is yes, then disqualify...

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JCSA Withholding Saudi Cup Earnings from Maximum Security

The Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia (JCSA) announced Monday that it will continue to withhold payment from the $20-million Saudi Cup to the connections of Maximum Security (New Year's Day) as it continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding the horse and former trainer Jason Servis. While that money is being withheld, a decision has been made to go ahead and pay the owners who had horses finish second through 10th in the Feb. 29 race. Shortly after Saudi Cup, Servis was among 27 people indicted on federal charges involving the...

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John Sikura Joins TDN Writers’ Room

With the smoking hot sire Violence picking up another Grade I win, with Volatile in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. at Saratoga, John Sikura has a lot to talk about and a lot to be happy about. The President of Hill 'n' Dale Farms, where Violence stands, has seen that stallion's career get off to a fast start, slow down and now take off again. Sikura joined the TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland to discuss Violence's recent accomplishments, the decision to bring in Kantharos and his thoughts on...

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Maximum Security’s Return Doesn’t Answer Many Questions

The Week in Review, by Bill Finley Just about everyone was prepared to either love or hate the performance of Maximum Security (New Year's Day) in the GII San Diego H. Saturday at Del Mar. Either he would come back and dominate or he would struggle in his first performance outside of the notorious Jason Servis barn. There didn't appear to be much room for a gray area. But that's where things have landed. He was good enough to win but not so good that he proved beyond any doubt...

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Maximum Security Exits San Diego in Good Order; Pacific Classic or Woodward Next

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...

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Maximum Security Just Gets Up in Dramatic San Diego Return

It's never easy being the hunted. Making his first start since the federal indictment of his former trainer Jason Servis and sent out for the first time by trainer Bob Baffert, Eclipse Award winner Maximum Security (New Year's Day) looked destined for defeat in Saturday's GII San Diego H. But the 4-year-old, last seen winning the $20-million Saudi Cup nearly five months ago, overcame some aggressive race riding and perhaps some ring-rustiness to grab Midcourt (Midnight Lute) to take it by a nostril. Given a positive ride from the gates...

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Maximum Security Makes Belated California Debut in San Diego H.

Eclipse Award winner Maximum Security (New Year's Day) makes his first start for trainer Bob Baffert and first since the federal indictment of former trainer Jason Servis in Saturday's rescheduled GII San Diego H. at Del Mar. The homebred was a two-time Grade I winner during his championship campaign in 2019, taking the GI Florida Derby and GI Haskell Invitational S. around his disqualification from an apparent victory in the GI Kentucky Derby. He proved his versatility and did what no other horse of his generation could at the tail...

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Christophe Clement Joins TDN Writers’ Room

There was no hotter trainer on the grounds through opening weekend at Saratoga than Christophe Clement, which is saying something considering the array of champion and Hall of Fame conditioners that occupy the backstretch of America's premier race meet. After winning five races from 13 starters in the first four days of the stand, including a pair of graded stakes victories, Clement joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland to discuss his hot start. Calling in via Zoom as the Green Group Guest of the Week, the French-born trainer...

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Maximum Security to Return in San Diego Handicap

Unraced since crossing the wire first in the Feb. 29 Saudi Cup, Maximum Security (New Year's Day) will make his next start on July 18 GII San Diego H. at Del Mar. The story was first reported by the Daily Racing Form. "He's doing fantastic," trainer Bob Baffert said. "We're pointing for the San Diego and I couldn't be happier with him." The San Diego, a mile-and-a-sixteenth race with a purse of $150,000, is a prep for the GI Pacific Classic on Aug. 13 at Del Mar and Baffert confirmed...

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Former Navarro, Servis Horses Back in Winner’s Circle

When Note to Selfie (Big Drama) showed up in the seventh race last Wednesday at Gulfstream, many handicappers surely dismissed the $8,000 claimer. In her most recent start, she finished a non-threatening sixth at the same $8,000 claiming level Feb. 16, and that was for trainer Jorge Navarro. Since that race, Navarro was indicted for allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs on virtually every horse he started. If Note to Selfie couldn't win for Navarro, how would she do for her new trainer, Elizabeth Dobles? Dobles is competent, but has never produced...

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Crux of Argument in Wests’ Derby DQ Appeal: ‘Stewards Are Put Above the Law’

An attorney for Gary and Mary West argued in a federal appeals court teleconference Tuesday that a 2019 dismissal of their civil rights lawsuit pertaining to the disqualification of Maximum Security (New Year's Day) in the GI Kentucky Derby should be overturned on the basis that a Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) regulation should not pre-empt a state statute that gives power to courts to review final orders of agency determinations. "If this decision of the district court is not reversed, what it means is that the stewards' decision to...

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Shug McGaughey Talks Code of Honor, Belmont Reopening, FBI Indictments on TDN Writers’ Room

There was no better place to be in American horse racing than Belmont Park Wednesday morning as the track prepared to reopen New York racing later in the day after months of being shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic. That's where Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey called in from as the Green Group Guest of the Week on this week's TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland. In a wide-ranging discussion, McGaughey talked about the return of stable star Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}), racing finally resuming at his...

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