An analysis of Maximum’s Secuirty’s win in the Haskell

Luis Saez
Luis Saez

Team Maximum Security was already used to the type of heat it faced Saturday at Monmouth Park.

The most controversial of 3-year-old colts carried odds-on favouritism into the Haskell Invitational (G1), then two starts after disqualified from the Kentucky Derby, survived a much more brief look by the stewards at contact through the far turn of the US$1 million race.

“He’s a game, gutsy little horse,” said trainer Jason Servis. “If you look at what he did in the Kentucky Derby, there were four or five other horses within a half a length of each other and he ran away from all of them. In this race here, he showed the same kind of courage. He likes that fight. He doesn’t mind going head-to-head with a horse, and he had that same situation.”

Stewards lit the inquiry sign after the rail-riding King For a Day, who was right on the pace through final turn, took up under Hall of Famer John Velazquez.

“They want to always make it look bad, or make it look worse for this horse,” jockey Luis Saez said as he journeyed from the winner's circle to the tunnel, peppered with a mix of cheers and boos from a crowd that remained on a long afternoon in New Jersey.

With the Haskell delayed just short of two and a half hours from scheduled post time due to high temperatures, Maximum Security also welcomed the challenge of Bob Baffert-trained Mucho Gusto, who ranged up three wide on the outside just as King For A Day bowed out of contention.

“I know that (Mucho Gusto) was the horse to beat," Saez said. "He was battling. He was coming outside, he was coming right there and I stayed in my spot, you know.”

A lone camera angle used didn't appear to show Maximum Security clearly disrupting King for a Day's path.


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