Haskell Invitational Results 2019: Maximum Security Wins Despite Inquiry

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJuly 21, 2019

Maximum Security, the horse disqualified from the Kentucky Derby horse race, looks on after arriving at its home barn at Monmouth Park Racetrack, Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Oceanport, N.J. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission denied the appeal of Maximum Security's disqualification as Kentucky Derby winner for interference, saying the stewards' decision is not subject to appeal. Racing stewards disqualified Maximum Security to 17th place on Saturday and elevated Country House to first after an objection filed by two jockeys. Stewards determined he impeded the paths of several horses in the race. Owner Gary West confirmed that Maximum Security won't run in the upcoming Preakness, saying there's no need without a chance to compete for the Triple Crown. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Pre-race favorite Maximum Security won the Haskell Invitational by a length over Mucho Gusto on Saturday at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey:

Maximum Security earned $600,000 of the $1 million Haskell purse for the victory, which only became official after an inquiry into actions between the victor and King for a Day at the three-eighths pole was denied.

The Haskell Invitational, an invite-only Grade I race for three-year-olds, is a key event in the run-up to the Breeders' Cup, which will be held at Santa Anita Park in early November.

Haskell is part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge series in which winners automatically qualify to Breeders' Cup World Championship races:

Here's a look at how the six-horse field raced on the 1⅛-mile dirt track, including order of finish, betting payouts, closing odds and a quick recap and reaction.

                

Haskell Invitational Finish: Horse; Jockey; Trainer

1. Maximum Security; Luis Saez; Jason Servis

2. Mucho Gusto; Joseph Talamo; Bob Baffert

3. Spun to Run; Paco Lopez; Juan Carlos Guerrero

4. Everfast; Julien R. Leparoux; Dale L. Romans

5. King for a Day; John R. Velazquez; Todd A. Pletcher

6. Bethlehem Road; Luis A. Rodriguez Castro; Dee Curry

                  

Betting Payouts

Win: $3.60, $2.60, $1.20

Place: $3.40, $2.80

Show: $5.60

$1 Superfecta: $185.70

$2 Exacta: $12.00

Source: Daily Racing Forum

             

Recap and Reaction

The race received a few pieces of unfortunate news beforehand.

First, Joevia was scratched for unknown reasons. Monmouth Park race caller Frank Mirahmadi announced the decision, per Horse Racing Nation.

Second, the oppressive Northeast heat forced a multihour delay to 8:05 p.m. ET.

Once the horses started, however, Maximum Security shared the front of the pack during the entire race with every horse aside from Everfast, who fell back.

Maximum Security eventually gained control of the inside rail down the stretch and held off a hard charge from Mucho Gusto for the win.

However, everyone got flashbacks to the Kentucky Derby when Maximum Security received yet another inquiry, this time against King for a Day.

In May, the previously undefeated horse was disqualified after Kentucky Derby stewards deemed he impeded the progress or interfered with three horses by shifting positions mid-race, per the Associated Press (h/t USA Today).

The TVG.com team broke down the action this time around:

After brief deliberation, the order of finish stayed the same. TVG.com caught up with the Maximum Security team and King for a Day jockey John Velazquez afterward for their takes:

Maximum Security avenged a significant upset to King for a Day at the Pegasus Stakes in June. Despite being a 1-20 favorite to start, per Bob Ehalt of Bloodhorse, he fell to King for a Day by one length.

Maximum Security has another Grade I win now, however, having taken down the Florida Derby in March.

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