Maximum Security, off since winning the Haskell Invitational (G1) and continuing his comeback from a September colic scare, was back on the work tab Saturday morning at Monmouth Park toward a new race target.
Servis informed Monmouth's publicity department that the colt, a leading candidate for the 3-year-old male Eclipse Award, is targeting a start against older competition Oct. 26 in Belmont Park's Grade 3, $200,000 Bold Ruler.
The Bold Ruler, for 3-year-olds and up, will cut Maximum Security back to seven furlongs in his first start since July 20 and could lead to another late season target such as Churchill Downs' Clark (G1) in November.
A New Year's Day homebred for owners Gary and Mary West, Maximum Security was clocked in 52.80 seconds for a half-mile breeze. Servis said the work itself was an open mile before he quickened for the final four furlongs.
It was the first breeze since a a colon nephrosplenic entrapment left the colt in temporarily critical condition, forcing a scratch from last month’s Pennsylvania Derby (G1). Surgery wasn't required, but Maximum Security lost weight through the ordeal, with Ben Glass, racing manager for the Wests, saying earlier this month "he’s a long ways from being where he was."
Before his victory in the Haskell, Maximum Security rose this season from a one-time claimer to win the Florida Derby (G1) and cross the wire first in the Kentucky Derby before disqualified in a decision his connections are fighting through the legal system.
Maximum Security's primary competition from the Eclipse comes from Code of Honor, the Travers Stakes (G1) winner placed atop the running order in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) due to another stewards decision. Code of Honor, while behind Maximum Security in both their head-to-head meetings, can bolster his resume in the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Classic.
Plans call for Maximum Security to race next year at age 4, with big-money targets such as the Pegasus World Cup (G1), Saudi Cup and Dubai World Cup (G1) mentioned as considerations.