Maximum Security Returns to the Races
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
Three stakes races highlight the Saturday card at Del Mar after last weekend’s races were canceled due to a surge of positive COVID-19 cases amongst the jockeys. The $150,000 San Diego Handicap (G2) over 1 1/16 miles sees the return of 2019 champion Maximum Security.
Maximum Security will be making his first start for trainer Bob Baffert after being transferred from Jason Servis earlier in the year. Unraced since taking the Saudi Cup in February, the son of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner New Year’s Day has scored in eight of his ten starts. That number would be nine if his victory in the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1) still stood, but Maximum Security was disqualified for interference and placed 17th while Country House was promoted to the win.
Since last year’s Derby, Maximum Security has since gone on to win the TVG.com Haskell Invitational, the Bold Ruler Handicap, the Cigar Mile (G1), and the Saudi Cup. Last year he also won the Florida Derby (G1).
Abel Cedillo will have the mount on the Eclipse Award winner, who faces five rivals.
Among them are 2019 TVG Pacific Classic (G1) winner Higher Power. The John Sadler trainee will be using this as a prep to defend his title in that race. Sadler has experience in this spot after winning the 2017 San Diego with Accelerate and the 2018 and 2019 editions with Catalina Cruiser. Higher Power, who will be ridden by Flavien Prat, finished third in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
The John Shirreffs-trained Midcourt adds blinkers for this. The son of two-time Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Midnight Lute is out of the graded winning mare Mayo on the Side. Midcourt was a 5 ¾-length winner over this track in Grade 3 company in November; he is unbeaten on this course. Midcourt added a Grade 2 at Santa Anita since then, and will have Victor Espinoza aboard.
Watch every race of the 2020 Del Mar meeting with TVG including the $150,000 San Clemente Stakes (G2) for sophomore fillies on the grass. The one-mile race drew 11, including multiple stakes winner Warren’s Showtime and Laura’s Light, winner of the Honeymoon Stakes (G3) in May. The final stakes race on the card is the inaugural Smiling Tiger, a $65,000 sprint at six furlongs for three-year-olds. Trainer Bob Baffert sends out the Union Rags son Ragtime Blues, who will face 6-5 morning line favorite Vertical Threat for trainer Richard Baltas.
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