Trainer weighing whether Maximum Security races this weekend

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OCEANPORT, N.J. — The trainer of Maximum Security plans to decide Thursday whether the colt will race this weekend in his first start since finishing first in the Kentucky Derby and being disqualified.

Jason Servis was uncertain Wednesday whether to run Maximum Security on Sunday in the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park. The $150,000 race for 3-year-olds will be run over 1 1/16 miles.

Servis said recent bloodwork on Maximum Security showed no problems, but he felt the colt was still a little light in terms of weight. Servis had ordered the bloodwork after thinking that the colt was a little off during a workout Sunday.

“It’s a tough decision. It really is,” he said. “The bloodwork threw a wrench into everything because it was good. If it was bad, it would be easy.”

The trainer said Maximum Security galloped 1 1/8 miles on Wednesday and looked fit.

The current plan is to race Maximum Security in the Pegasus and the Haskell on July 20, both at Monmouth Park. The colt would then be shipped to Saratoga Springs, New York, for the Travers Stakes on Aug. 24.

Maximum Security initially scored a 1-length victory over Country House in the Kentucky Derby on May 2. The victory was overturned 22 minutes later with a stunning decision by the stewards to disqualify the 9-2 second choice because of interference with eventual Preakness winner War of Will and other horses.

It marked the first time in the 145-year history of the Derby that the first-place finisher was disqualified for interference.

Heat prompts NYRA to cancel racing Saturday at Saratoga

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — The New York Racing Association has canceled Saturday’s card of racing at Saratoga Race Course due to excessive heat forecast for eastern New York.

The National Weather Service is predicting a heat index as high as 110 degrees. Training will be permitted Saturday on both the main track and Oklahoma training track in the normally cooler temperatures in the morning.

The last time an entire racing card was canceled at Saratoga because of extreme heat was Aug. 2, 2006, when temperatures rose to the upper 90s and the heat index measured as high as 110 degrees.

NYRA president Dave O’Rourke calls the move “of the utmost importance” to NYRA and its industry partners.

The sport has come under increased scrutiny with the deaths of 30 horses during the recent racing season at Santa Anita in Southern California.

Two horses killed at Del Mar in training collision

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DEL MAR, Calif. — Two horses have been killed in a collision at Del Mar during training on the second day of its 2019 season.

The track says the accident occurred Thursday morning when the horse Charge A Bunch threw rider Geovanni Franco, turned sharply and collided with Carson Valley.

Carson Valley’s rider, jockey Assael Espinoza, was taken to a hospital for evaluation but Franco was not injured.

Carson Valley’s trainer, Bob Baffert, says it was a freak accident beyond anyone’s control.

The Del Mar deaths follow 30 horse fatalities at the just-ended Santa Anita meet. Those deaths led to an array of new procedures intended to increase safety.