Bob Baffert Racing Stables has announced their seasoned stars are in full training, heading towards the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland on 6,7 November, chiefly for the $7m Longines Classic.
What of Bob Baffert’s stars who don’t make the Longines Classic of 1¼m. There’s dropping back to the $2m Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile and turf $2m TVG Mile, or stepping-up to 1½m of the $6m Longines Turf.
No more so than the headline-hugging Maximum Security who in March was transferred to Bob Baffert on news that Jason Servis was under investigation for alleged doping allegations.
Earlier in January Coolmore purchased a 50% share in the racing and breeding rights of Maximum Security from owner-breeders Gary and Mary West, and raced in Michael Tabor’s orange and blue colours on winning the inaugural $20m Saudi Cup in February.
Also, West Stables and Coolmore have not received their $20m purse as the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia has frozen all prizemoney, depending on the US Federal Authorities investigation.
In somewhat difficult to train, no date has been set for Maximum Security’s return since the Saudi Cup, as Bob Baffert ‘is still getting a handle on the horse.’
Bred by West Stables, and being sired by their Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner New Year Day, he is from the successful Anasheed mare Lil Indy, a half-sister to Jockey Club Gold Cup winning sire Flat Out.
As a late developing juvenile due to ‘physical issues’ Maximum Security won a 2YO Maiden by almost 10 lengths in December, going on to win all three early 3yo starts including the Florida Derby.
In being first past the post in the 145th Kentucky Derby, Maximum Security was disqualified for impeding runners on the far turn, with jockey Luis Saez suspended for ‘failure to control his mount.’
The West Stables were un-successful in their US District Court action to reinstate the Derby win, with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission stating ‘it threatens to turn the ‘most exciting two minutes in sports’ into tedious, protracted litigation.’
In being spelled for two months and his Grand Slam squashed, Maximum Security returned to win three of his four later season starts including the Haskell Invitational Stakes and Cigar Mile.
Set to make his return in the Triple Bend Stakes at Santa Anita on 7 June, the 5yo horse McKinzie had a disappointing season debut when 11th to Maximum Security in the Saudi Cup in February.
A $170,000 buy by Three Amigos Racing Stables at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, he is by the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Street Sense from the duel Gr2 winner Runway Model, the family of Seattle Slew.
In winning both the Whitney Stakes and Alysheba Stakes at four-years, McKinzie was placed four times in Group 1 events including second to Vino Rosso in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
A winner of the Pennsylvania Derby and Malibu Stakes in three wins at three-years, he won both his two juvenile starts including the Los Alamitos Futurity.
The former Breeders’ Cup Juvenile 4yo Game Winner has been off the track for 10 months since winning the Los Alamitos Derby last year.
Previously he finished fifth to promoted winner Country House in the Kentucky Derby, having been second in the Santa Anita Derby and Rebel Stakes at his previous starts.
In defeating Knicks Go in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Game Winner won all four 2yo starts including the Del Mar Futurity and American Pharoah Stakes.
No return race date has been set for this year’s Pegasus World Cup winner Muncho Gusto, who also finished fourth to Maximum Security in the Saudi Cup.
In an indifferent ‘classic season’ he won the Affirmed, Laz Berrera and Robert B Lewis Stakes and was placed in the Travers Stakes and Haskell Invitational. At two he won the Bob Hope Stakes and was second in the Los Alamitos Faturity.
Win Star Farm’s Improbable is set for The Gold Cup at Santa Anita on 6 June, and is coming off a second in the Oaklawn Mile at Oaklawn Park, Arkansas.
In a disappointing 3yo season where he won the Shared Brief Stakes, Improbable had run second in the Arkansas Derby and Rebel Stakes and fourth in the Kentucky Derby and Pennsylvania Derby. At two he won all three starts including the Los Alamitos Futurity.
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