Maximum Security scheduled for first race since Kentucky Derby debacle

Jack BaerWriter
Maximum Security returns to the racetrack on Sunday. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Maximum Security returns to the racetrack on Sunday. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Maximum Security has managed to stay in the headlines more than any other horse since its shocking and controversial disqualification at the Kentucky Derby last month, but the one thing it hasn’t done is race.

That will change on Sunday, as the past Derby favorite — and some would say Derby winner — is scheduled to to run in the Pegasus Stakes in New Jersey, according to the Associated Press.

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Sadly for horse racing drama fans, a demographic that grew exponentially in the fallout of the Derby, none of the horses that Maximum Security owner Gary West issued a $20 million challenge against are in the field. The sole prize on the line will likely be the Pegasus Stakes’ $150,000 award.

As you’d expect from a horse that seemed to back up its status as the Derby favorite, Maximum Security is reportedly listed as a heavy 1-2 favorite out of the No. 2 post position in the six-horse field. Before the Derby, the horse had won every start of its career.

Back on the saddle for Maximum Security will be jockey Luis Saez, who received a 15-day suspension after a rival trainer likened his riding to that of a drunk driverOther jockeys have since defended Saez, but he remains a controversial figure in the absurd saga.

Maximum Security hasn’t raced since its loss at Churchill Downs more than a month ago, with West announcing the horse would skip the Preakness Stakes and later missing the Belmont Stakes. The move deflated what could have been a dramatic set of Triple Crown races, as Derby winner Country House has also avoided all races since the drama began.

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