OCEANPORT, N.J. — Maximum Security had “another good day” on Friday, June 14, according to trainer Jason Servis, as the Grade 1-winning colt moves closer to a return to racing in Sunday’s TVG.com Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park — the horse’s first start since he crossed the finish line first in the Kentucky Derby on May 4.
The $150,000 Pegasus Stakes, for 3-year-olds at a mile and a sixteenth, is the last local prep race for the $1 million TVG.com Haskell Invitational on July 20.
“Another good day. We’ve still got to get through tomorrow but I think we should be fine,” Servis said.
Maximum Security, owned by Gary and Mary West, has finished first in all five of his career starts, including the Grade 1 Florida Derby. He became the first Kentucky Derby winner to be disqualified following his 1¾-length victory over Country House, with the Churchill Downs stewards placing him 17th for interference.
Servis said he was “a little nervous” as the Kentucky-bred son of New Year’s Day-Lil Indy by Anasheed prepares to get back into the starting gate.
He will be opposed by five other 3-year-olds in the Pegasus: Last Judgment and King for a Day from the Todd Pletcher barn; Servis’ Direct Order; the Jorge Navarro-trained Identifier and Caladan, from trainer Anthony Pecoraro’s bran.
Post time for the Pegasus Stakes is listed at 5:12 p.m.
“I might be more nervous for this than I was for the Kentucky Derby,” said Servis. “It’s a short field, we’re the heavy favorite and it’s horse racing. Anything can happen.”
Servis announced his plans to run Maximum Security in the Pegasus Stakes on Thursday, after bloodwork drawn on Monday showed no issues.
Maximum Security has been stabled in Servis’ barn at Monmouth Park since May 7.
Bet the Pegasus Stakes from home via TVG.com. New players recieve a bonus.
Pudding Rallies To Take Friday’s Featured Allowance
Pudding rallied from well off the pace and wore down 6-5 favorite Lucky Jaime in deep stretch to score a one-length victory in Friday’s featured allowance option claimer at Monmouth Park.
Trained by William Sienkewicz and ridden by Wilmer Garcia, the 4-year-old gelded son of Two Step Salsa-Jozi’s Turn by Johannesburg won his fourth straight dirt race. Pudding is 0-for-4 on the grass but has four wins, two seconds and a third from nine lifetime dirt starts.
Pudding was claimed for $16,000 by Harry R. Hoglander and Josie Gump on Jan. 23 at Tampa Downs.
“We claimed him because we thought he’d be good value on the grass but he turned out to be much better on the dirt,” said Sienkewicz. “I thought he’d show more speed from the gate today than he did and I was a little concerned when he didn’t, but it worked out and I’m thrilled.”
Pudding returned $10.60 to win, covering the five furlongs in :58.48.
“Once he broke the way he did I let him settle where he was and just followed the leaders until it was time to go,” said Garcia, who won the final two races on the eight-race card. “To dominate in this fashion, he’s showing himself to be a very good dirt horse.”
Racing resumes on Saturday at Monmouth Park with the $75,000 Honey Bee Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 5½ furlongs on the grass headlining the 13-race card.
First race post time is 12:50 p.m.
Father’s Day Card Features Free Admission For Gentlemen
Sunday’s 13-race Father’s Day card at Monmouth Park is shaping up as a big day, with the racing highlight being the return of Maximum Security in the $150,000 TVG.com Pegasus Stakes.
A field of six is set for the mile and a sixteenth Pegasus Stakes, which will mark Maximum Security’s first race back since he crossed the finished line first in the Kentucky Derby on May 4.
All gentlemen will receive free admission Sunday and there will be drawings for tickets to Mets, Yankees and Phillies games, as well as the Lakewood Blue Claws and the July 20 Haskell Invitational.
Entry blanks will be available at the entrance gates and can be dropped off at the Finish Line Welcome Center, Picnic Area and Clubhouse Welcome Center. Entries close after the fifth race and the winners will be chosen after the sixth race at the Finish Line Welcome Center.
Winners must pick up tickets by July 14.
Sunday is also Family Fun Day, with free clowns, face painters and pony rides for children 12 and under.
Tim McLoone and The Shirleys will perform “On The Green” from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday as well.
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