MAXIMUM SECURITY DESERVES ALL HE GETS
What did the courageous win by Maximum Security in the richest Thoroughbred race ever tell us?…Well it told me he deserves every penny of the $10 million he earned for crossing the finish line first in the inaugural Saudi Cup. And it also told me I shouldn’t be mad at him any more.
Maximum Security earned fame as the only winner of the Kentucky Derby to be disqualified from first for a perceived infraction during the race. Unbeaten coming into the race, (4 previous starts), many still considered him as undefeated as he seemed to be clearly the best. In the eyes of many, including myself, owner Gary West, trainer Jason Servis, jockey Luis Saez, and of course Maximum Security himself were the ones violated, not the ones chasing him during the race.
So why would I be mad at this magnificent son of New Year’s Day? It wasn’t his fault my pick 4 ticket and win bet wound up in file 13. I think it mostly boils down to my own mental ineptitude and believe me, this isn’t the first time my tiny brain got in the way.
As a long-time sports scribe and youth sports coach, a realistic examination of myself tells me I am at times opinionated. That’s okay as sometimes I need to be. Each week for a long stretch I am fortunate to be a voter in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association poll, which is absolutely an opinion. Other times my column pieces reflect a particular take on things through these pupils. Now that I step back and look at things objectively, I owe Maximum Security an apology.
For a period of time, my view of a horse that has now crossed the finish line first in nine of ten career starts was a bit skewed. You see, I thought the easiest way to avenge the travesty in the Kentucky Derby was to go to Pimlico and win the Preaknees. His team chose not to run. After winning the Haskell with a run similar to his Derby journey (without the DQ), it was figured he would head to the coveted Traver’s Stakes, but he didn’t. The Breeders’ Cup would surely be on the agenda for the fleet feet of Maximum Security is the assumption, however, it was not. Instead he ran in the Bold Ruler at Belmont Park. Alright then, the Pegasus at Gulfstream Park where he won the Florida Derby should be on the radar…think again.
That is why this fabulous athlete had drawn a bit of skepticism from myself. I am a guy that thinks your proof is in the pudding and the pudding should be on the plate. But you know what, the Security team does not have to please me. The last time I checked, my dog is the only one that has always agreed with my opinion (or at least he hasn’t told me he doesn’t agree) and my thoughts are really only important to me.
Obviously the people connected with Maximum Security have had a plan all along and who am I to question their decision making? He just won the richest horse race ever against a very quality field after traveling halfway around the world. His courage and desire were on full display and that is what turned my light bulb on. Perhaps it has done the same for others who may have taken a similar stance in the past as myself. And if it didn’t, when it comes to Maximum Security, they are still in the dark…kinda like I used to be. Please forgive my doubting thoughts.