Awesome Again: Can Any Horse Stop Maximum Security

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Saturday, September 26, 2020

When the best in the world is about to do their thing, you have to take a step back, put everything on pause and watch. In my opinion, MAXIMUM SECURITY (PP: 5 ML 3/5) is the best racehorse on the planet right now and you'll get to see him do his thing in the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday.

If he wins, as he has in 10 of 12 of his races (really 11 of 12 with the controversial 2019 Kentucky Derby disqualification), then you'll get to see MAXIMUM SECURITY do his thing again in the Breeders' Cup Classic. The winner of the Awesome Again Stakes earns an automatic bid for the Classic as a part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series.

You'll want to put whatever you are doing on pause at about 8:14 pm eastern on Saturday as MAXIMUM SECURITY exits the gates for his 1 1/8 run on Santa Anita's main track. Per his usual, he'll go to work right away and challenge for the lead from the jump.

Trainer Bob Baffert should have MAXIMUM SECURITY near peak form in his third start off the sidelines. He's already coming off the highest, last race speed number and would likely take something special to beat him to the tape.


IMPROBABLE (PP: 2 ML 8/5) was though to be a special horse early on and was the post time favorite for the 2019 Kentucky Derby. Unfortunately, he didn't live up to bettors' expectations in the Derby or his potential that first, Saturday of May. He finished a well beaten sixth and struggled in the next four races with just one, non-graded stakes win, surrounded by a fourth, fifth and a sixth.

Baffert out him in the barn after last year's Breeders' Cup Dirt mile and didn't bring IMPROBABLE back to the track until mid-April. Time on the sidelines did the four-year-old son of CITY ZIP and RARE EVENT some good. He's run three consecutive triple-digit speed figures after the layoff. Prior to his time away, he hit 100 or more on the speed gun just once in the previous seven outings.

If any horse is going to take the checkered flag from MAXIMUM SECURITY's hands, the new and improved IMPROBABLE is the most likely choice.

MIDCOURT (PP: 4 ML 6-1) is the only other in the field that we believe has a crack at pulling off the upset. He's faced MAXIMUM SECURITY  in has last two starts and IMPROBABLE in the race before those. MIDCOURT didn't finish anywhere near either of them in two of the three.

Last out, he ran third, 5 3/4 lengths behind MAXIMUM SECURITY and the distance between the two was growing with every late step. Three races back, MIDCOURT was demolished by IMPROBABLE, finishing fifth of six, a whopping 23 lengths behind. That's an ass whooping.


He just missed against MAXIMUM SECURITY in the in between race, giving up the lead at the wire by a nose. Ah, but that was at 1 1/16 and the Awesome Again Stakes is 1 1/4 miles. The same as the last time the two met with MAXIMUM SECURITY running away late.

It's no big surprise, but we see it as a two-horse race between MAXIMUM SECURITY and IMPROBABLE. There isn't much value in betting the race with a 3/5 favorite. Instead, the value is in watching MAXIMUM SECURITY, perhaps the best horse in the world, do his thing.

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