Maximum Security, Destination Unknown

December 25, 2019

As a trainer one of the most important duties is picking out the correct races for your horses. I always wanted to think with my head not my heart. Sometimes that isn’t easy, especially when it comes to a horse like Maximum Security. There is a lot at risk here, not just winning a race. You have his career to think about, he will be retired and there is a Stud deal to be done.

There is a saying “horses follow the money” and it should be that way. In the case for Max, if he wants the 20 million purse you have to fly him halfway around the world. Or maybe not that far. Truth be told, Max’s career, other than the raw deal he got in the Derby, has been really good. The reason for that is because Jason Servis and the Wests first pick out great races. When things weren’t right they scratched him for a better race. They’re always going to err on the side of caution. With that in mind, both races are run without Lasix. There is a 13 million dollar difference in purse money which is playing into this decision big time. It’s no secret when horses fly to the middle east it takes a lot out of them. Too many things can go wrong flying that far. If something did happen, the horse is there , has to be scratched and flown back home. Remember, nothing is given in horse racing, it has to be earned.

With all that being said, I always wanted to be the Big Fish in the small pond. Not a minnow in the ocean. I’m not saying Max is a minnow, he is a great white shark just waiting to pounce on his prey.

I guess you know now which way I’m leaning, that’s just me. I’ve never had a horse like Max. I’m sure Jason is going to have some sleepless nights trying to figure this out. Jason and the Wests have made all good moves with Max. We know the Wests don’t need the money, it sure helps though. We would all like to see him run at Gulfstream Park. Chances of seeing him run in Saudi is only on TV. Not that I wouldn’t watch and cheer him on. Just not the same, I’m a guy that likes to see them up close and personal.

Let’s face it, he will have a far better chance by not going to Saudi Arabia. Field size will be smaller at Gulfstream and it’s a track he likes and has won over. The Saudi track can be funny and different at times, just to fly that far and find out he really doesn’t like it. I don’t think the track will make a difference. A good horse doesn’t need to carry his race track with him. He is going to run Medication free in either race. If for one reason or another he doesn’t bring his A game without Lasix, you just walk him back to his stall and figure out what went wrong.

Not saying anything will happen but it can and if things happen it takes time to get them over it and move on. There is always too much gray matter in this business. I’m a trainer who likes it Black or White not Gray.

Back to Max we will all have to wait and see which path they take. Let us hope he wins and has a safe trip. Just my thoughts, it’s not in my pay scale to have to make this decision. 

See you at the races

Contributing Authors

JJ Graci

JJ was born in Philadelphia, Pa.  and attended Villanova University. He has vast experience in horse racing and broadcasting. JJ has been a fixture in...

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