DEL MAR, Calif. (Aug. 22, 2020) – Gary and Mary West, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s 4-year-old Maximum Security ($2.80), ridden by Abel Cedillo, won Saturday’s 1 ¼-mile, $500,000 TVG Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar by 3 lengths over Sharp Samurai, and became the sixth horse this year to earn an automatic starting position into the $7 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series of stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into corresponding races of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which is scheduled to be held at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., on Nov. 6-7.
Maximum Security, a Kentucky-bred son of 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner New Year’s Day, is trained by Bob Baffert, a three-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Maximum Security is third Baffert-trained horse to earn a “Win and You’re In” berth into the Breeders’ Cup Classic this year, joining Authentic, winner of the TVG.com Haskell Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park on July 18 and Improbable, winner of the Whitney (G1) at Saratoga on Aug 1.
Maximum Security completed the 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.24 over a fast track. It was his 10th win in 12 starts, and his third victory this year. After taking the inaugural Saudi Cup in February, Baffert took over the training duties of Maximum Security from Jason Servis.
In his first start under Baffert, Maximum Security won the San Diego Handicap (G2) by a nose at Del Mar on July 25.
Baffert said to TVG: “I felt a lot of pressure (today) because I didn’t want to be the one to slow him down. But I got a healthy horse from the Wests. He just galloped around out there. He’s just built like a powerful horse and he’s light on his feet. I’ve always had a lot of respect for him because I’ve been chasing him. We were expecting something like this.”
Maximum Security is the sixth horse this year to earn a “Win and You’re In” for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic. He joins Mozu Ascot, winner of the February Stakes (G1) at Tokyo Racecourse on Feb. 23; Tom’s d’Etat, who took the Stephen Foster Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on June 27; Authentic, Improbable and Ghaiyyath (IRE), winner of the Juddmonte International Stakes (G1) at York on Aug. 19 in Great Britain.
As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the $150,000 in entry fee and guarantee a starting position for Maximum Security to start in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will be run at 1 ¼ miles. In addition, Breeders’ Cup will provide a $10,000 travel allowance for starters within North America that are stabled outside of Kentucky.
ABOUT BREEDERS’ CUP
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred horse racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The Breeders’ Cup is also a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, an organization composed of industry leaders committed to advancing safety measures in Thoroughbred racing and improving the well-being of equine and human athletes.
The 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Championship races, is scheduled to be held on November 6-7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky and features a total of $35 million in purses and awards. The event will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media.