Maximum Security nears first work back; '5-for-5 in my eyes'

May 18, 2019 03:04pm
Maximum Security nears first work back; '5-for-5 in my eyes'
Photo: Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

Trainer Jason Servis isn’t on social media, but in the wake of Maximum Security’s Kentucky Derby disqualification, he’s wishing he had joined.

“Everybody’s telling me there’s a lot of people supporting,” Servis said Saturday, when he saw some of those backers in person.

Maximum Security — placed 17th after crossing the wire first two weeks ago at Churchill Downs — paraded in the paddock before the fifth race at Servis’ New Jersey base.

There are those who feel as if stewards made the wrong call to take down a 1 3/4-length Derby winner. Then again, Maximum Security had his fans before the first Saturday in May, going from a $16,000 claimer on debut to Florida Derby (G1) hero.

“He’s a Cinderella story,” Servis said, adding, “He’s 5-for-5 in my eyes.”

Race plans are pending for the son of New Year’s Day, bred and campaigned by Gary and Mary West. Servis expects he’ll “probably do something with him next week as far as a breeze.”

This summer at Monmouth Park, the $150,000 Pegasus Stakes runs June 16 as a prep for the meet centerpiece, the July 20 Haskell Invitational (G1) worth $1 million.

Gary West on Friday mentioned the Haskell as a potential spot for a rematch with some Derby rivals when he made what could amount to a $20 million challenge. West would make a $5 million per horse head-to-head side bet with connections of Country House, War of Will, Long Range Toddy and Bodexpress, with any of his winnings going to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

“I don’t know if I’m allowed to comment on that,” Servis said with a laugh. “Where’s my attorney?”

West’s offer is open to any race at any track the next time Maximum Security faces any of those four horses through the end of the year. If rival connections don’t want to wager the full $5 million, there’s a second option for a $1.86 million bet — same amount as the Derby purse’s winning share.

“I am doing this,” West said, “because I think it would be good for racing and a unique opportunity to bring more people into racing because of the elevated interest this would bring to the sport.”

Horse Racing Nation's Matt Shifman contributed to this report.


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