Updated: Maximum Security's next race decision pending

June 12, 2019 09:21am
Updated: Maximum Security's next race decision pending
Photo: Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO
Trainer Jason Servis said Wednesday he remains undecided on a "tough decision" whether to enter Maximum Security for this weekend's $150,000 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park or train the star 3-year-old colt up to the July 20 Haskell Invitational (G1).

Servis has until Thursday to enter the Pegasus, Sunday's 1 1/16-mile feature, with at least two factors potentially holding him back.

First, weather in New Jersey has resulted in wet tracks and less than optimum training conditions within the last week. Also, Servis ordered bloodwork this on Maximum Security, a son of New Year's Day who last time out hit the Kentucky Derby wire in front before his controversial disqualification for interference through the far turn.

"I don’t want to tell everybody yes and then change my mind," Servis said. "The bloodwork was ok. I think he’s still a little light.

The bloodwork threw a wrench into everything because it was good. If it was bad (the choice) would be easy.”

Maximum Security entered the Kentucky Derby 4-for-4 with a victory in the Florida Derby (G1).

"The horse is doing good," said Ben Glass, racing manager for owners Gary and Mary West, "but (Servis) wanted to do bloodwork because he didn't feel like (Maximum Security) was back where he was before the Derby or Florida Derby."

The homebred Maximum Security, of course, began his career last December in maiden claiming competition, off for a $16,000 tag, before graduating to starter allowance conditions. He
 has worked twice since the Derby, on May 22 and again June 2, with both the slow, stamina-building moves typical of Servis' veteran runners.

In the 1 1/8-mile Haskell, Maximum Security will presumably face the Belmont Stakes' pacesetter and third-place finisher, Joevia, trained by local conditioner Gregg Sacco, among others.

The Haskell runs a week before Saratoga's July 27 Jim Dandy (G2), a prep for the Aug. 24 Travers (G1) that could bring the top sophomores back together with the division race wide open leaving Triple Crown season. Each of Derby winner Country House, Preakness winner War of Will and Belmont winner Sir Winston are targeting the Jim Dandy-Travers double.

"He’s fit," Servis said of Maximum Security. "It’s just that I am looking at three races in 69 days – the Pegasus, the Haskell and then you have the Travers. The spacing is good. From the Kentucky Derby to (the Pegasus) is six weeks.

Then you get 34 days (until the Haskell) and then you get 3
5 days (until the Travers). You put it all together and it’s three races in 69 days. That’s a lot.”


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