Making his much-anticipated first start since being disqualified from a victory in the GI Kentucky Derby, Gary and Mary West’s Maximum Security (New Year’s Day) stumbled at the start and was worn down in the stretch of the TVG.com Pegasus S. Sunday at Monmouth, as Red Oak Stable’s King for a Day (Uncle Mo) pulled the upset.
Off with all the money on at 1-20, Maximum Security took a very awkward first step out of the gate, but recovered quickly and took up his customary spot at the head of affairs. He and Luis Saez weren’t given a free ride though, as King for a Day and Joe Bravo pressed from a close second and longshot Identifier (Creative Cause) joined the fray from a three-wide third heading into the clubhouse turn. Showing the way narrowly through a :23.58 quarter and :46.82 half as the field bunched up down the backstretch, Maximum Security was put to a drive midway around the far turn as he and King for a Day sprinted clear of the rest of the field, and the pair was virtually inseparable passing three-quarters in 1:10.57. Maximum Security briefly appeared to be pulling away from his pursuer at the eighth pole, but King for a Day kept grinding and poked his head in front for the first time a sixteenth out before edging away for the score.
“I texted Todd Pletcher this week and he called me back in two seconds to tell me how high he was on this horse,” Bravo said. “He was in full control the whole race. Maximum Security stumbled the first couple of jumps and I am sure that hurt him a little bit and he was playing catch-up the rest of the time–even though he was in front until we got to him late. I just tried to keep my horse relaxed and ride my horse. He was good when he needed to be.”
Of Maximum Security’s trip, Saez commented, “He hasn’t run for a while so he was a little desperate in the gate. He wanted to break so he broke so fast he stumbled. He was alright after that but I sensed he was getting a little tired in the final half-mile. I’m not disappointed. He will be OK. I think he needed the race. This is horse racing. Anything can happen. He’s a real good horse. That hasn’t changed.”
Jason Servis, trainer of Maximum Security, added, “It stinks getting beat, but that’s horse racing. I think [the stumble] cost me the race, really. Tough day. I think his next race will be better. I needed to get this out of the way. I was glad to get this out of the way even though he got beat by a nice horse.”
King for a Day was a distant third behind subsequent GISW Complexity (Maclean’s Music) on debut Sept. 3 at Saratoga before breaking his maiden stretching out to this trip Oct. 4 at Belmont. A good fourth after enduring a wide journey in the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. Nov. 24 at Churchill, the homebred made a successful sophomore debut with a 2 1/2-length score in the Sir Barton S. last out May 18 at Pimlico. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
TVG.COM PEGASUS S., $150,000, Monmouth, 6-16, 3yo,
1 1/16m, 1:42.59, ft.
1–KING FOR A DAY, 123, c, 3, by Uncle Mo
1st Dam: Ubetwereven, by French Deputy
2nd Dam: Raysor Lake, by Private Account
3rd Dam: Dans l’Argent, by Danzig
O/B-Red Oak Stable (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher; J-Joe Bravo.
$90,000. Lifetime Record: 5-3-0-1, $210,550. *1/2 to Ima
Jersey Girl (Lightnin N Thunder), SW, $258,454; and Feel That
Fire (Lightnin N Thunder), SW, $147,280.
2–Maximum Security, 123, c, 3, New Year’s Day–Lil Indy, by
Anasheed. O/B-Gary & Mary West (KY); T-Jason Servis.
3–Direct Order, 117, c, 3, New Year’s Day–Spicy Devine, by
Harlan’s Holiday. O-M and A Racing LTD; B-Gary & Mary West
Stables Inc. (KY); T-Jason Servis. $15,000.
Margins: 1, 5 3/4, 6. Odds: 5.90, 0.05, 33.90.
Also Ran: Last Judgment, Identifier, Caladan.