Maximum Security forced out of Pennsylvania Derby with colon issue

AP Photo

OCEANPORT, N.J. — Maximum Security won’t run in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby this weekend because of a colon issue.

Trainer Jason Servis said Tuesday that the Haskell and Florida Derby winner developed the problem shortly after a workout a day earlier. The 3-year-old colt was taken to a New Jersey clinic, where the issue was diagnosed as a large colon nephrosplenic entrapment. It’s not considered career-threatening.

Maximum Security was the 9-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s race. It was to be the first meeting between Maximum Security, who crossed the finish line first in the Kentucky Derby only to be disqualified for interference, and War of Will.

War of Will was the horse that Maximum Security was penalized for interfering with near the top of the stretch. War of Will went on to win the Preakness and finish ninth in the Belmont. Maximum Security didn’t run in the last two legs of the Triple Crown.

Servis says the colon issue is unfortunate but there’s nothing anyone could have done to prevent it.

Nephrosplenic entrapment occurs when the large colon migrates between the spleen and the abdominal wall and becomes trapped over a ligament that attaches the spleen to the left kidney.

Servis says Maximum Security completed a one-mile workout Monday at Parx Racing outside Philadelphia without incident, but Servis was called back to the barn in the afternoon when something was amiss with the colt. After his exam, Maximum Security returned to his base at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.

Servis says there’s no time frame for a possible return to racing for Maximum Security, although he’s holding out hope for the Breeders’ Cup in early November at Santa Anita.