Will Maximum Security Bounce Back?

Maximum Security crossed the line first at the Kentucky Derby only to have his win chalked off by an infraction on the track that handed Country House the victory at the prestigious race. It was the first time since 1968 that the winner of the Derby had been disqualified. Owners Gary and Mary West attempted to appeal the decision, but it was upheld to leave Maximum Security joining a select company of horses to have been disqualified after winning the event.

However, Jason Servis will now prepare his charge for his next major outing to atone for his error at the Kentucky Downs. His progress will be worth tracking, so keep an eye on Racing Post's horse racing tips ahead of the Breeders Cup Classic towards the end of the year to see if he is fancied. Maximum Security had won all three of his previous meetings; therefore, his slip-up at the Derby should not be held against him for the rest of the campaign.

The three-year-old has been established as the leading contender for the Classic, although there will be competition from Omaha Beach and Game Winner, while even McKinzie could line up in the field. Servis' charge will have to find his best form for the Classic at Santa Anita as he displayed at the start of the year at Gulfstream Park. Maximum Security put forward a dominant performance on his first outing, winning his debut race by six-and-a-half lengths ahead of the rest of the field.

The American thoroughbred was even more impressive in his second race, which again was at Gulfstream Park against two other competitors. With Irad Ortiz Jr in the saddle, the three-year-old was downright imperious, finishing 18 lengths ahead of the field. After his two victories, Maximum Security had momentum entering the Florida Derby. William Mott's Hidden Scroll was considered the leading contender, despite the pedigree of Servis' charge. Luis Saez was in command at the reins, and he drove Maximum Security towards a fine performance, pulling away down the stretch to secure his triumph by a comfortable margin.

He did not earn the complete confidence of the bookmakers ahead of the Derby as they installed Improbable as the favorite for the race. Maximum Security did put forward an excellent performance to take the lead, but he drifted out after the far turn on the Kentucky Downs racetrack, impeding the progress of War of Will, Long Range Toddy, and Bodexpress, while Country House was forced to slow in the aftermath. The three-year-old continued his charge to win the race, while Country House finished second following a recovery. It did not take long for the stewards to strip him of the crown, while the attempts to restore the victory failed.

Maximum Security remains a top-quality competitor and at the least for backers of his ability he's worth some free bets on the Classic, although his form between now and November will be worth monitoring to see how horse, jockey and trainer respond to the setback.

They will likely not change much about their approach, even though Saez seemed to suggest that the noise at the Kentucky Downs affected Maximum Security at the vital moment; but it could behove them to alter matters to ensure that there's not a repeat mistake at Santa Anita.

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