Maximum Security

JCSA Reveals Plans for 2021 Saudi Cup, Issues Update On Maximum Security

In a press briefing held Tuesday, The Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia (JCSA) announced that the 2021 running of the $20-million Saudi Cup will be held Feb. 20, one week earlier than the date for the inaugural edition of the world's richest race. The announcement was made by HRH Prince Bandar Bin Khalid Al Faisal, Chairman of the JCSA, who, during a question-and-answer session with the media, also addressed the unresolved situation concerning Maximum Security (New Year's Day) and his former trainer Jason Servis. Shortly after Maximum Security crossed the...

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The Week in Review: Clout Heading into Classic, Older Horses or Upstart Sophs?

We're now inside the six-week mark for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic. Is your money on an older horse winning the season-capping dirt route championship race or one of the 3-year-olds? Both divisions have a respectable upper crust of candidates. Neither age group has a dominant, standout star who towers over his peers. Improbable (City Zip)'s last-to-first, 4 1/2-length shakedown of the GI Awesome Again S. field at Santa Anita this past Saturday nudged him into tepid early favoritism for the Classic. The Oct. 10 GI Jockey Club Gold Cup...

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Improbable Romps In the Awesome Again

The lesser-fancied of the Bob Baffert-trained duo, 'TDN Rising Star' Improbable (City Zip) was uncustomarily taken well off a fast early pace, began to hit his best stride while wide on the second turn, inhaled the leading group in upper stretch and rolled home to defeat odds-on Maximum Security (New Year's Day) by 4 1/2 lengths in the GI Awesome Again S. at Santa Anita. Though he hadn't been more than two lengths off the early pace in any of his last four races, Improbable was taken back to last...

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Baffert Appears to Have Stranglehold on Awesome Again

Twice in its last seven runnings, the GI Awesome Again S. has produced the winner of the GI Breeders' Cup Classic, with Mucho Macho Man (Macho Uno) and Accelerate (Lookin At Lucky) completing the double in 2013 and 2018, respectively. Just a field of five faces the starter this weekend for the nine-furlong test--a 'Win and You're In' qualifier for the Classic--but the two marquee horses have legitimate claims at Keeneland in six weeks' time. Maximum Security (New Year's Day), whose topsy-turvy championship sophomore season saw him miss a start...

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Maximum Security, Improbable Both Being Pointed to Awesome Again

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...

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The Week in Review: Remember the Context of 2019 Derby DQ

After a federal appeals court on Friday upheld a district court's decision to dismiss a lawsuit that sought to reverse the disqualification of Maximum Security (New Year's Day) from first place in the 2019 GI Kentucky Derby, co-owner Gary West told TDN that even though he disagreed with the ruling, "it is time to move on and the decision will not be appealed." Country House (Lookin At Lucky), of course, has been considered the winner of the 2019 Derby ever since he was elevated from second to first via the...

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Federal Court Affirms Dismissal of Derby Lawsuit; Wests Won’t Pursue Further Action

A three-judge panel of a federal appeals court Friday upheld a district court's decision from last November to dismiss a lawsuit by Gary and Mary West, the owners of Maximum Security (New Year's Day), which sought to overturn the colt's controversial disqualification from first place in the 2019 GI Kentucky Derby. "What should have been the fastest two minutes in sports turned into over a year of litigation," wrote Judge John K. Bush in the opinion accompanying the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit....

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MJC President Sal Sinatra Talks Cleaning Up Racing On TDN Writers’ Room

In a sport crying out for more strict, no-nonsense regulators and administrators, Maryland Jockey Club president Sal Sinatra fits the bill. Just in the past week and a half, Sinatra has made major waves in the industry, first by calling for the eventual end to claiming races at The Jockey Club Round Table and then by busting Wayne Potts for "paper training" for a banned trainer in Maryland. Wednesday, Sinatra joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland as the Green Group Guest of the Week to discuss an array...

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The Week in Review: No More Doubts, Maximum Security is Back

When Maximum Security (New Year's Day) had to fight his way to a narrow victory in the GII San Diego H., it was fair to question whether or not this was the same horse that had been so outstanding throughout his career for trainer Jason Servis. Yes, he won that day, but the dominance and brilliance he had shown on so many occasions for a trainer who was subsequently indicted for allegedly doping his horses was not there. Then again, it seemed unwise to write him off after one race....

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Maximum Effort

Whether you love him or have mixed feelings about him, there is one thing about Maximum Security (New Year's Day) that is very hard to dispute: he is an outstanding racehorse. Prohibitively favored at 40 cents on the dollar to take Saturday's GI TVG Pacific Classic in his second start since being transferred to the barn of Bob Baffert, the bay absorbed race-long pressure but, realistically speaking, never looked like losing in securing an all-expenses-paid berth in the GI Breeders' Cup Classic in early November. When the dust had settled,...

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‘Max’ Back On Big Stage in Pacific Classic

The last time Maximum Security (New Year's Day) traveled 10 furlongs, he crossed the wire first before the disqualification heard around the world in the GI Kentucky Derby. A ton has happened with the colt in the year-and-change since then: an Eclipse championship, a buy-in from Coolmore, a trip across the world to win the G1 Saudi Cup, doping allegations, a barn switch. Through it all, the horse who controversy seems to follow like a shadow will return to 1 1/4 miles and Grade I company with questions to answer...

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This Side Up: Maximum Respect for Security ‘Measures’

It's not his fault. But the fact is that Maximum Security (New Year's Day) has become one of the most chronicled, most contentious Thoroughbreds of recent times. From a lawsuit over his disqualification at Churchill, to the scandal engulfing his former trainer, to his frozen Arabian treasures, to the merit (or otherwise) of his debut for a new barn, one way or another, this extraordinary creature cannot keep out of the headlines. If feeling mischievous, indeed, one might almost say that he will not be the only polarizing incumbent facing...

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