Maximum Security, the first ever to be disqualified from first place in the Kentucky Derby for causing interference, won the first running of the Saudi Cup, the world’s most valuable race.
Twice a winner in Grade 1 company since the Derby last May, Maximum Security and jockey Luis Saez finished ahead of Bob Baffert-trained Midnight Bisou and Saeed bin Suroor’s Benbatl to win $10 million — half of the race’s $20 million purse.
Victory did not look likely for most of the nine-furlong contest at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh, as Pegasus World Cup hero Mucho Gusto traveled strongly into the lead by a few lengths.
Maximum Security gamely stuck to the task for Saez, but did not seem to be catching Mucho Gusto until he began to wander under Irad Ortiz Jr. close to home.
The Jason Servis-trained Maximum Security has also subsequently been bought into by Coolmore, while his original owners Gary and Mary West remain involved.