Maximum Security returns to beat older in Belmont's Bold Ruler

October 26, 2019 04:42pm
Maximum Security returns to beat older in Belmont's Bold Ruler
Photo: NYRA

Coming off a three-plus month layoff, and just six weeks since suffering a bout with colic, Maximum Security made a triumphant return to the races Saturday with a sharp two-length victory when trying older horses for the first time in the Grade 3, $200,000 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont Park.

With Luis Saez in the irons, Maximum Security broke from the rail and shot straight to the lead. He set opening fractions of :22.90 and :45.22 while being pressed by True Timber to his outside. Maximum Security continued with a short lead into the stretch, then spurted clear through six furlongs in 1:08.37 to put the field away. 

Maximum Security, who was controversially disqualified from the win in this year's Kentucky Derby. crossed the wire in a sharp 1:20.76 for seven furlongs. Longshot Tale of Silence was second followed by True Timber.

Saez, a veteran rider, heaped high praise on Maximum Security.

"He's so special," Saez said. "He's the Derby winner and he's born to run. Of course, he's the best horse I've ever rode. He proved today he is a champion.

"He was feeling so good today and he was ready to run. I was very comfortable. He put me there [on the lead] by himself and I was trying to slow the pace but there was pressure. I'm on the horse to beat so I knew it was going to happen, but he just kicked on. Everybody was right there [at the turn], but he came to the stretch and he did it all by himself."


Trained by Jason Servis, Bold Ruler was Maximum Security's first start since winning the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational on July 20. In mid-September, the son of New Year's Day was entered for the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) but had to be scratched because of colic. 

"It's all horse, he's not 100 percent," said Servis as he tried to fight back tears. "He ran against the bias I thought on the rail. Just a special horse."


"Physically, he's been great," Servis said. "But he had come out of the hospital and hadn't run in three months. When he ran like that, I'm thinking that he's a really special horse."

Gary and Mary West's Maximum Security has now won 5-of-7 starts this season with the lone defeats coming via a controversial disqualification after crossing the wire first in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and in the Pegasus Stakes while prepping for the Haskell. 

Next up for Maximum Security is likely to be the Grade 1, $750,000 Cigar Mile Handicap at Aqueduct on Dec. 7. The other option is the $600,000 Clark Handicap (G1) going 1 1/8-miles at Churchill Downs on Nov. 29.

 

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