What to watch for: Maximum Security's Bold Ruler foes line up

October 21, 2019 02:00pm
What to watch for: Maximum Security's Bold Ruler foes line up
Photo: Mark Wyville/EQUI-PHOTO
This weekend marks the end of fall meets at Keeneland and Belmont Park. But both will finish strong, with Maximum Security among the expected runners in New York and a top group tackling Keeneland's final graded stakes race.

There's also a last weekend of racing at Santa Anita Park before Breeders' Cup fever truly sets in, with a large field expected in Saturday's Grade 3 feature.

Here's what to watch for:

 On Saturday, the final graded stakes of the year to be held in Lexington is the Fayette (G3), which should draw a field including Core Beliefs Tom's d'Etat and Everfast.

But the race that will probably draw the most eyeballs this Saturday will be at Belmont Park when Maximum Security, the horse disqualified from first and placed seventeenth in the Kentucky Derby faces older in the Bold Ruler (G3). True Timber, Prince Lucky, Strike Power and Killybegs Captain are Maximum Security's potential foes.

And the final weekend of racing action at Santa Anita before the Breeders' Cup takes over the Arcadia, California track features the Autumn Miss (G2).

Grade 3, $200,000 Bold Ruler Handicap
Maximum Security heads the list of probables for Saturday's  43rd running of this event. Contested at seven furlongs on the main track, the Bold Ruler is for horses 3-years old and upwards.

The Gary and Mary West homebred, trained by Jason Servis, has been nothing short of a four-legged soap opera this year stemming from his disqualification in the Kentucky Derby and subsequent legal action taken by his owners to reverse the decision. A final ruling pends.

When Maximum Security did return to racing following the Derby, he was second, beaten a length by King for a Day in the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park. But the New Year’s Day colt returned to his winning ways next out, capturing the Haskell Invitational (G1) on July 20.

Since then, Maximum Security suffered a bout of colic (more specifically colon nephrosplenic entrapment) which forced Servis to scratch him from the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) and rethink the 3-year-old's campaign.

Maximum Security had won his first four career races, striking on debut at Gulfstream Park last December in a $16,000 maiden claiming race. He proved more than worthy of running without a tag in subsequent starter optional claiming races before annexing the Florida Derby (G1).

Maximum Security posted a local work for the Bold Ruler on Sunday.

His likely competition includes 
True Timber, a 5-year-old Calumet Farm runner trained by Kiaran McLaughlin. The multiple stakes-placed son of Mineshaft was last seen finishing third in the Kelso Handicap (G2) at Belmont last month.

“We’ll use that race as a springboard looking for a year-end target in the Cigar Mile,” McLaughlin said of the Bold Ruler.

Last year, True Timber finished second to No Dozing in the Bold Ruler, which was held at Aqueduct after adverse weather postponed its running at Belmont.

Prince Lucky, Strike Power and Killybegs Captain are others who could show up when this race draws Wednesday.

Todd Pletcher-trained Prince Lucky was the beaten favorite, finishing second in the Kelso, which was won by Pat On the Back. The 4-year old son of Corinthian picked up a pair of graded stakes wins at Gulfstream Park earlier this year when taking the Hal’s Hope (G3) and Gulfstream Park Mile (G2).

Trainer Mark Hennig may enter Strike Power, who the NYRA racing office termed as possible. The graded stakes winner, who returned this season at 4 following offseason surgery to repair a breathing issue, was last seen finishing fifth in the Lucky Coin Stakes at Saratoga at the end of August.

Killybegs Captain won the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) at Laurel Park on September 21, making the 5-year old Mizzen Mast trainee trainer John Terranova's first graded winner since he trained El Kabeir, a former Derby trail runner.

Notable recent winners of the Bold Ruler include Salutos Amigos, Stallwalkin’ Dude and Tom’s Ready.

Grade 2, $200,000 Fayette Stakes

The final graded stakes race of Keeneland’s fall meet is for horses 3 years old and up going a mile and an eighth on the main track. Bal Harbour, Core Beliefs, Tom’s d’Etat and Everfast lead the list of probables for Saturday's race.

The Pletcher trainee Bal Harbour has improved drastically since gelded toward the end of last season. He enters this spot off a trio of runner-up finishes in graded stakes company, namely a gritty effort in Saratoga's Woodward (G1) to be a half-length behind Preservationist after briefly inheriting the lead in the stretch.

Trained by Peter Eurton, the 2018 Ohio Derby (G3) and 2019 New Orleans (G2) winner Core Beliefs finished last in a field of four last out in the San Diego Handicap (G2) at Del Mar. A win or second place finish in the Fayette would put the 4-year old Quality Road colt over the $1 million mark in career earnings.

Tom’s d’Etat, a winner of seven of his 14 career starts, is multiple graded stakes-placed following his second place finish in the Alysheba (G2) in May and Stephen Foster (G2) in June, both at Churchill Downs. The 6-year old won the Alydar Stakes at Saratoga on August 8 and followed that up with a fourth-place finish last out in the Woodward.

Dale Romans is slated to send Calumet Farm’s 3-year old Take Charge Indy colt Everfast to the Fayette. Everfast was on the Kentucky Derby trail earlier this year before Romans opted for the Pat Day Mile (G3) on the first Saturday in May.

Following a second-place finish in the Preakness Stakes, Everfast finished seventh in the Belmont Stakes. His last two races found him finishing fourth in the Haskell and a well-beaten 12th in the Travers Stakes (G1).

Other possible Fayette contenders include Ian Wilkes’ Big Dollar Bill and Arnaud Delacour’s The Great Day.

Grade 3, $100,000 Autumn Miss Stakes

Set for Saturday at Santa Anita, this race going a mile on the turf is restricted to 3-year-old fillies.

Mucho Unusual, Hidden Message, Apache Princess and Giza Goddess lead the list of probables.

Trainer Tim Yakateen looks to saddle San Clemente (G2) winner Mucho Unusual for owner George Krikorian.

“We won the San Clemente with her, then she ran sort of a flat race in the Del Mar Oaks (when seventh by 4 ¼ lengths in a four-wide trip),” Yakteen said. “The Autumn Miss is the next logical spot; it’s one of the last 3-year-old filly stakes of the year.
“She’s training great, and that’s where we want to be right now."
Hidden Message finished second to four-time graded stakes winner Cambier Parc in the Del Mar Oaks (G1) back on August 17. That result also put her ahead of Lady Prancealot, who came back to win the Valley View (G3) at Keeneland. 

Trained by Simon Callaghan, the Scat Daddy filly was making her North American debut in the Del Mar Oaks after racing overseas.
Graded stakes winner Apache Princess was last seen finishing second in the Unzip Me Stakes at Santa Anita in September. A two-time winner in eight career starts, she took the Sweet Life Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita in February for trainer Keith Desormeaux and owners KMN Racing.
Giza Goddess has been on the shelf since taking the Blue Norther Stakes at Santa Anita last December for trainer John Shirreffs.
The Cairo Prince filly was a $200,000 purchase for West Point Thoroughbreds in the 2017 Keeneland September 2017 yearling sale. She won the Blue Norther after breaking her maiden at Del Mar on her fifth attempt on December 1.


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