Best Beyer: Maximum Security

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Horse Racing Maximum Security
Back in business: Maximum Security (Abel Cedillo) wins Pacific Classic. Photo: Benoit

107 Maximum Security

Del Mar (August 22): Pacific Classic G1 $500,000, 1m2f, dirt, 3yo+
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Jockey: Abel Cedillo
Owner: Gary & Mary West and Coolmore Partnership
Pedigree: 4yo bc New Year’s Day – Lil Andy (Anasheed)

Well, it’s probably fair to say he’s back. Okay, maybe Maximum Security never really went away, but it wasn’t only sceptical souls who were singularly unimpressed by last month’s debut for Bob Baffert, where he scraped home from Midcourt.

With hindsight, Baffert clearly wasn’t speaking with forked tongue when he said he was learning about the horse, who wasn’t cranked up; plus, after all, he was giving 5lb to Midcourt that day.

Fast forward four weeks and add a furlong and a half, and the Pacific Classic was altogether a more creditable effort as the four-year-old made all to score by three lengths over a dogged runner-up in Sharp Samurai, who harried him every inch of the way until he could harry no more. This time, Midcourt was nearly six lengths away.

Bob Baffert: ‘Maximum Security showed he is a great horse’ – all the news from the Pacific Classic

Horses probably don’t lie awake at night worrying about their reputations but if they did, Maximum Security would have more reason than most for a bit of tossing and turning. 

He has been first past the post for 11 of his 12 career starts, yet still he doesn’t get the plaudits for reasons that really have little to do with the horse’s talent.

After all, he started in a claimer (why? how?), then got a DQ in the Kentucky Derby and latterly had his legacy tarnished by his former trainer Jason Servis being indicted for systemic drug offences.

The horse posted a hugely gallant effort to win the inaugural edition of the world’s richest race, the Saudi Cup, only for a valiant performance to sit firmly under a heavy cloud owing to Mr Servis’s alleged indiscretions. And his owners haven’t been paid.

Oh well. Now he’s got a 107 Beyer for the Pacific Classic. Only Tiz The Law and Tom’s D’Etat have bettered that mark at more than a mile in 2020, so it ain’t all bad news.

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