The week's fastest horses: A new top for Maximum Security

December 09, 2019 02:35pm
The week's fastest horses: A new top for Maximum Security
Photo: Courtesy of NYRA
There were two major handicapping questions for Maximum Security to answer in the Cigar Mile (G1), a race key to determining whether he was worthy of the Eclipse Award for champion 3-year-old.

How would he handle being drawn just inside of Spun to Run, the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile hero also known for setting a brisk pace? Last summer, Maximum Security was beaten across the line for the only time in his career when King for a Day pressed outside of him in Monmouth Park's Pegasus Stakes.

And could Maximum Security progress? While dominant across a number of class levels, the Jason Servis trainee had registered Brisnet Speed Ratings of 99 (Kentucky Derby), 103 (Pegasus), 104 (Haskell) and 99 (Bold Ruler) since becoming a Grade 1 winner. To defeat Spun to Run and better older company, he'd likely have to go a bit faster.

The colt delivered emphatic answers, turning back Spun to Run after cutting some fast fractions at Aqueduct en route to a career-high 108 Brisnet figure, fastest of the previous week by any North American stakes winner.

"We were concerned," Servis said of the Cigar Mile's early going. "I didn't get up out of the chair until late stretch. This track was very slow (on Saturday), and it was hard to go fast and sustain that."

"He's a fighting horse," added jockey Luis Saez. "I knew the other horse has a lot of speed. I knew we had to fight, so my attitude was let's see what happens. That's what we brought him here to do and we just battled. He felt amazing. When we hit the turn, I knew we had a lot of horse."

The Haskell marked Maximum Security's previous top. He had also reached into the triple digits Feb. 20 at Gulfstream Park and in his Florida Derby victory there the next month.

A return to Gulfstream, where Maximum Security is 4-for-4, is expected next in the Jan. 25 Pegasus World Cup (G1).

The week's other fastest performances all originated from a stakes-packed schedule at the Hallandale Beach, Fla., oval:

 On Sunday, Letruska posted a massive figure for a 1 1/4-mile race when she won the Copa Invitacional del Caribe. But the final time was 2:04.01.

 On the same card, Kukulkan coasted to a victory in the Copa Confraternidad del Caribe. The final Brisnet number was a 104, but the time wasn't much different: 2:04.19.

 And, finally, on Saturday Shekky Shebaz, last seen in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, returned in the Claiming Crown for the Servis barn, registering a 100, the week's other triple-digit figure for a stakes winner.

Here's a look at the Top 15 numbers:

 Horse Track Race Rating
 Maximum Security Aqueduct Cigar Mile 108
 Letruska Gulfstream Copa Invitacional 107
 Kukulkan Gulfstream Copa Confraternidad 104
 Shekky Shebaz Gulfstream CC Canterbury 100
 Hello Beautiful Laurel Maryland Juv. Filly 99
 Leitone Gulfstream CC Jewel 99 
 Queen Bee to You Los Alamitos Bayakoa 98
 Sacamandu Gulfstream  Copa Velocidad 98
 Shotski Aqueduct Remsen 98
 Happy Farm Aqueduct Fall Highweight 97
 Lake Avenue Aqueduct Demoiselle 97
 Liza Star Gulfstream CC Glass Slipper 97
 Bast Los Alamitos Starlet 96
 Pauseforthecause Aqueduct Garland of Roses 96
 Yes I See Gulfstream CC Iron Horse 96


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