Maximum Security holds off Mucho Gusto in Haskell thriller

Maximum Security at Derby 145. (Source: NBC)
Maximum Security at Derby 145. (Source: NBC)
Published: Jul. 20, 2019 at 11:09 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) -Due to scorching temperatures, the running of the Haskell Invitational was postponed from 5:45p.m. to 8:00 p.m. But for race fans, the wait was worth it as the $990,000 test for 3-year-olds came down to a stretch duel between Maximum Security and Mucho Gusto. Maximum Security was able to hold off his challenger by one and a quarter lengths to regain some lost luster after his roller-coaster adventure on the Triple Crown trail.

Maximum Security’s fans and his own connections had to sweat out an inquiry of all things. The Monmouth Park stewards reviewed the turn for home as the Haskell winner appeared to have interfered with King for a Day. King for a Day, who defeated Maximum Security in last month’s Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth, seemed to be tiring at the time of the incident, so the stewards allowed the finish to stand. The horse who finished first in the Kentucky Derby, only to be disqualified, managed to escape a DQ on Saturday.

Mucho Gusto, who was out to give trainer Bob Baffert his record 9th win in the Haskell,collared Maximum Security in mid-stretch. Then Maximum Security, with Luis Saez aboard, dug down deep and held off the Baffert colt.

The Haskell victory, coupled with his triumph in the Florida Derby and his impressive Kentucky Derby performance, leaves Maximum Security as the current leader among the top 3-year-olds in that division’s championship chase. Winning Haskell trainer, Jason Servis, says Saratoga’s Travers Stakes could be next for his colt.

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