Cigar Mile: Maximum Security outsprints Spun to Run to lift title

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Gary and Mary West’s, Maximum Security, has been in and out of the headlines throughout his sophomore season.

He laid that controversy to rest on Saturday as he sprinted past Spun to Run in the Cigar Mile. Maximum Security with Luis Saez 6-5, pulled away with ease in the stretch to gain 3.5 lengths.

Trained by Jason Servis, he ran the one-turn mile over Aqueduct’s fast main track in 1:36:46/10 seconds. He’s a fighting horse, who battles on, no matter what.

Despite his historic disqualification in the Kentucky Derby seven months ago and skipping the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita, Maximum Security’s success over older rivals puts him firmly as a hunter in the 3-year-old Eclipse Award.

The Florida Derby, Haskell Invitational, and Cigar Mile, are no flooks. King for a Day is the only horse to have beaten Maximum Security in the Pegasus. Spun to Run, True Timber, and, Looking at Bikini’s, were unable to make an impression.


Bred in Kentucky by his owners, Maximum Security is out of the Anasheed mare Lil Indy.

Making his first start in a $16,000 maiden claiming race at Gulfstream Park West, Maximum Security won by 9 3/4 lengths. The horse who ran third in that contest, Math Wizard, won this year’s G1 Pennsylvania Derby.

Maximum Security followed up his debut victory with three more wins, including a 3 1/2-length victory in the Florida Derby. He crossed the wire first in the Run for the Roses, but stewards made the decision to disqualify him to seventeenth for interference in the stretch run.

The colt’s owners then held him out of the rest of the Triple Crown, bringing him back to run second in the listed Pegasus Stakes at his home back of Monmouth in a prep for the Haskell.

The Cigar Mile victory improves the colt’s official record to seven wins from nine starts, with earnings of over $1.8 million. The Pegasus World Cup could well be next for Maximum Security.

Extraordinary events at Sandown on Saturday in the closing London National left jockeys perplexed, punters bemused, and the sport scratching its head as another major occasion was overshadowed by a fiasco, with a trainer involved, slamming procedures.

Seven jockeys, who continued to race despite the stop-race yellow flag being waved just before the third-last fence, were handed ten-day suspensions following a lengthy stewards’ inquiry.

Jamie Moore, Daryl Jacob, Adam Wedge, Stan Sheppard, Harry Skelton, Jamie Davies, and, Philip Donovan are set to miss the valuable Christmas schedule with t December 21, pending appeal.

Officials voided the race as there were people attending Houblon Des Obeaux, who suffered what was later reported by trainer Venetia Williams to be a fatal heart attack, on the final bend of Sandown’s chase course.

Seven riders bypassed the fence in front of which the flag-waving official was standing, and only narrowly missed the stricken Houblon Des Obeaux around the home turn. Having one flag is not an option. It causes these kinds of nonsensical situations.

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