Three-time Grade 1 winner Maximum Security (New Year’s Day) added a ninth victory to his 11 start record when he took out the San Diego Handicap (Gr 2, 8.5f) at Del Mar on Saturday.
The now Bob Baffert-trained colt, who was having his first start since he won the Saudi Cup (1800m) in February and first for his trainer, scored by a nose from Midcourt (Midnite Lute) with another six and a quarter lengths back to Higher Power (Medaglia d’Oro) in third.
"I knew I didn't have him really drummed up for this race, we were going to use this to get ready for the next one,” said Baffert.
“But we're learning about the horse. He won today when he had every reason to get beat. He showed what a great horse he is today. He's such a fighter. I'm glad we got this over with and now he's in good shape."
Winner of the Florida Derby (Gr 1, 9f), Cigar Mile (Gr 1, 8f) and Haskell Invitational (Gr 1, 9f) last year, Maximum Security will stand at Coolmore when he retires from racing after the operation secured a half interest in both the racing and breeding rights at the end of 2019.
The colt is one of three winners out of dual winning mare Lil Indy (Anasheed) who is herself a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Flat Out (Flatter) as well as Listed winner Our Best Man (Runaway Groom).
Lil Indy was sold in foal to Quality Road (Elusive Quality) to Summer Wind Equine for US$1.85 million at last year’s Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale having been sold the previous year for just US$11,000 a month before Maximum Security’s debut.
A thrilling finish in the G2 San Diego Handicap! In a photo finish MAXIMUM SECURITY gets victory of Midcourt @delmarracing! Congrats to connections Trainer Bob Baffert, Rider Abel Cedillo & Owners Gary & Mary West. Magnier or Tabor, et al! pic.twitter.com/XcjttnIo7j— TVG (@TVG) July 26, 2020