LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Maximum Security is at the other end of the fiscal spectrum of horse racing.
Horse owners frequently pay a royal ransom to acquire a horse with potential to win the Kentucky Derby. A million dollars or more is not unheard of.
Anyone with $16,000 could have acquire Maximum Security after his debut late in December. Had someone struck boldly, they would now have the Florida Derby winner and an 8-1 shot to capture the Kentucky Derby. The colt will be the only undefeated horse in Saturday’s Derby.
Potentially losing the horse for that price was a calculated gamble by trainer Jason Servis.
Servis entered Maximum Security in a claiming race, where every horse carries a price tag. In this instance, the unraced Maximum Security was available for $16,000.
That was the last time Maximum Security carried a claiming tag. He easily won his next two races, setting the stage for the Florida Derby.
As usual, Maximum Security went right to front, set a moderate pace and drew clear to a 3 ½-length win.
The former claimer had blossomed into a Grade 1 stakes winner with more than enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby.
“He’s fresh,” Servis said. “He’s not a horse that’s been behind and finished eighth or sixth or third. I’ve been careful with the spacing of his races. Walking around here, we have to put a chain on him to keep him on the ground.”
This will be the second straight Derby starter for Servis. Firenze Fire finished 11th last year.
With a victory, Servis would carry on a family tradition. His brother John won the race with Smarty Jones in 2004.
More AP sports: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports