Maximum Security didn't need a replay review to lose this one.
More than a month removed from the most controversial disqualification in Kentucky Derby history, Maximum Security returned to the racetrack at the Pegasus Stakes in New Jersey.
Facing a six-horse field, Maximum Security was a heavy favorite at 1/9 odds. It had fresh legs, it had the same jockey in Luis Saez and it still had yet to finish a single race with another horse in front of it.
All set up for a triumphant return, right? Well ...
#3 King for a Day & @BravoAce pull the upset in the https://t.co/nBYFHj6ufh Pegasus Stakes defeating Maximum Security for Trainer Todd Pletcher and Red Oak Stable @MonmouthPark! pic.twitter.com/DOltFWyLEk— TVG (@TVG) June 16, 2019
With nothing but empty track ahead of Maximum Security, the horse was chased down and passed by the aptly named King for a Day, losing in shocking fashion. Just listen to the sound of that crowd slowly realizing what is happened.
Maximum Security’s jockey chalked the loss up to the horse’s long lay-off, which led to some major mistakes.
"He hasn’t run for a while so he was a little desperate in the gate,'' Saez said. "He wanted to break so he broke so fast he stumbled. He was all right after that but I sensed he was getting a little tired in the final half mile. When we came to the half-mile pole I asked for a little more but he got a little tired when I asked him to keep going. In the end he was a little tired. I’m not disappointed. Definitely not. He will be ok. I think he needed the race. This is horse racing. Anything can happen. He’s a real good horse. That hasn’t changed. I think the next time he will be ok.”
Maximum Security losing on Sunday doesn’t make its infamous loss in May any more definitive, but it sure is a deflating development for a horse that was the center of the racing world for a fleeting moment.
It might be time for owner Gary West to rethink that angry $20 million challenge he made to Country House, War of Will, Long Range Toddy, or Bodexpress following the Derby. Especially considering War of Will has since won the Preakness Stakes.
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