Maximum Security to stay local for Aqueduct's Cigar Mile

November 10, 2019 01:31pm
Maximum Security to stay local for Aqueduct's Cigar Mile
Photo: Chelsea Durand/NYRA
After Maximum Security finished his usual lengthy drill Sunday morning timed in 48.80 seconds for the final half mile at Aqueduct, trainer Jason Servis confirmed the leading 3-year-old colt will make his next start there in the Grade 1, $750,000 Cigar Mile on Dec. 7.

The one-turn event will continue stretching Maximum Security back out for an anticipated run at the 2020 Pegasus World Cup (G1).

Connections selected the Cigar Mile over Churchill Downs' Nov. 29 Clark (G1), a 1 1/8-mile race that would have required a much longer ship from Servis' Belmont shed row. Daily Racing Form reporter David Grening was first to report Sunday's news having attended the work, which was designed to gauge whether Maximum Security was a fit for Aqueduct's dirt.

Maximum Security, a son of New Year's Day campaigned by Gary and Mary West, returned to the races a winner in Belmont's Bold Ruler Handicap (G3) last month. It followed a colic scare that left the colt in critical condition the week of the Pennsylvania Derby (G1), requiring him to scratch from that event.

Maximum Security will also compete for further Eclipse Award consideration in the Cigar Mile. Code of Honor, the Travers Stakes (G1) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) hero, is viewed as his top rival in that race.

Maximum Security's 2019 resume also includes a victory in the Florida Derby (G1), a controversial disqualification from the Kentucky Derby when he was first across the wire and a score in the Haskell Invitational (G1).

“Right now there’s no doubt in my mind that he should be the champion,” Ben Glass, racing manager for the Wests, said last week. “I know he got disqualified, but he beat them all soundly in the Derby, and I don’t think they should take that out of the equation, because obviously we believe the stewards made a bad call.”

Other Grade 1-winning 3-year-olds Spun to Run (Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile) and Roadster (Santa Anita Derby) could meet Maximum Security in the Cigar Mile, which is also expected to include consistent older horse Bal Harbour.

 

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