DRAMA, TO THE MAX ‘Max’ owner Gary West will file app

By: horse-canada |


‘Max’ owner Gary West will file appeal today

The beauty of horse racing is that it writes it own story lines and it does it with flair. Just when you thought you had seen everything…

MAXIMUM SECURITY’s remarkable Kentucky Derby victory, taken away more than 20 minutes after the race when he was deemed to have caused interference, was going to be precedent setting simply because of how he got there.

COUNTRY HOUSE, placed first, was thought to be the lesser of 2 colts trained by Boll Mott. Mott had never won the Derby and Thoroughblog, along others, was fairly sure he would win it this year – with Tacitus (placed 3rd).

From backstretch to grandstand the Derby of 2019 was the topic of discussion. The majority agree that it was the right call even if some (such as this corner) originally thought it was only marginal. If a horse takes away other horses’ paths, that merits a disqualification.

Of course, once the incident occurred and the long stretch run ensued, no one was getting past this amazing colt know as Maximum Security. He is unbeaten for a reason – he has incredible stamina and a huge heart.

It has been 36 hours, here are point form takeaways:

  • Gary and Mary West and trainer Jason Servis started Maximum Security for $16,000 maiden claiming first time out in his career on Dec. 20 at Gulfstream Park. Servis told the media after the colt won the Florida Derby (g1) that the horse ‘had issues’
  • Maximum Security has never been beaten to the finish line in 4 races since then. So he thinks he is unbeaten.
  • Maximum Security’s unique training regime and that of Servis had much of the racing community befuddled; very slow published workout times because his cocked workouts came in the midst of long gallops. He reportedly had a little ‘blowout’ workout on Derby morning.
  • The disqualification from the win is the first ever in the Derby after 145 years for a race infraction. Dancer’s Image was disqualified from his Derby win for a positive Bute test in 1968.
  • COUNTRY HOUSE is the second longest shot to ever win the Derby – he was 65 to 1.
  • Luis Saez, who rode Maximum Security, rode Country House 3 times in the lead up to the Derby.
  • WAR OF WILL, trained by Canada’s reigning Champion conditioner MARK CASSE somehow did not fall down as his legs went between those of Country House. Disaster averted.
  • The Japanese colt MASTER FENCER (#15) ran a great race! Roaring up the rail from miles behind, watch out for this guy.
  • President Donald Trump even tweeted about the race, declaring his dislike for the disqualification of Maximum Security.
  • The 99 Beyer Speed Figure from Daily Racing Form for Maximum Security was average.

So, in case you somehow missed it…starting at 1:54 you can see Maximum Security go from close to the rail and drift out several paths.

Click here to watch Monday morning’s THE TODAY SHOW interview with Gary West.


SHOOTING PARTY with her foal BREAKING LUCKY, the 2015 Prince of Wales winner at Fort Erie. Shooting Party’s daughter Quake Lake is the dam of COUNTRY HOUSE – photo courtesy Christine Hayden/Facebook

As a three-quarter brother to Canadian graded stakes winner BREAKING LUCKY, COUNTRY HOUSE has a bunch of relatives born in Ontario since his grandma SHOOTING PARTY lives at Saintsbury Farm of Christine and Jay Hayden in southwestern Ontario.

An orphan, Country House’s dam Quake Lake passed away after producing the Derby winner.

COUNTRY HOUSE has that Sam-Son Farm stamp as a grandson of SMART STRIKE (sire of Lookin at Lucky, the sire of Country House) with SKY CLASS on his dam’s side, the sire of SHOOTING PARTY.

A grey mare who was graded stakes place for the late Joseph Shields, SHOOTING PARTY was bought for $50,000 in 2008 in foal to Langfuhr. Chad Schumer signed the ticket for the Haydens.

The first foal she produced in Ontario was DOUBLE GUNS GIRL who raced for Roger Attfield and Harlequin Ranches after they bought her at the CTHS yearling sale in 2011 for $70,000. A winner, Double Guns Girl has a first foal who is now 2 – Gun Society,  a filly bred by Attfield and a daughter of Society’s Chairman.

Shooting Party’s next foal was born in 2012, a gorgeous Lookin at Lucky colt named BREAKING LUCKY. Sold by the Haydens for $100,000 as a weanling at Keeneland to Gunpowder Stables, Breaking Lucky won the Prince of Wales , the Grade 3 Seagram Cup and he is graded 1 placed. He has earned $1.1 million.

A Bellamy Road filly born in 2016 was a $60,000 auction purchase and she has not raced.

A Palace Malice colt offered at Keeneland last fall was bought back for $17,000.

The Haydens report that Shooting Party is in foal to Accelerate, a Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and a son of … Lookin at Lucky.

Pedigree chart courtesy and

















Pink Lloyd Becomes a Millionaire 

PINK LLOYD’S victory in the Grade 3 Jacques Cartier Stakes was easily the most impressive race of the three-day week of 28 races.

The Horse of the Year of 2017 and Champion Sprinter in 2017 and 2018 blew away a good field in the 6 furlong sprint, striding out through the stretch with smooth power. He earned a 95 Beyer Speed Figure and becoming a millionaire. He has won 17 of 22 races and earned $1,016,539.

This was his 3rd Jacques Cartier Stakes. The 7-year-old by Old Forester was well prepared for his return to action after 2018 ended with a couple of dull outings. Pink Lloyd, who is often felled by bleeding, no doubt benefited from his winter vacation.

The Jacques Cartier was the only stakes race of the weekend.

FRIDAY – Ontario stallion FRAC DADDY’S first starter, the sizy 2yo OWLETTE came up from Keeneland off a good debut outing and coasted to her maiden win for trainer Wesley Ward. The 2yo race earned owner David Mowat a whopping $63,000 for the win since the filly is Ontario sired and bred.

Eight different trainers won on Friday and eight different jockeys won.

SATURDAY – With Pink Lloyd sizzling to the Jacques Cartier win in 1:08.55, the Saturday card featured mostly front running winners and several clever trips for horses who got away with setting a slow pace on the lead.

CATHERINE DAY PHILLIPS saddled the winners of the Late Double – SMOOTH TALKER who went gate to wire in a $40,000 claiming/optional race under Emma Jayne Wilson who lulled the others to sleep. Smooth Talker had raced for $6,250 in his finale in 2018.

CHIEFSWOOD STABLES’ won 2 races – with firster PIPER’S SKY (Sky Mesa), trained by Don MacRae and MAD SLAM (Violence) The farm’s star sprinter YORKTON got caught up in a wild pace battle in the Jacques Cartier  faded.

Jockey ISABELLE WENC won her first race of the season when she stole the 6th race on R Rated Breeze for Hopefield Farms and trainer Sandy McPherson. Wenc was the only rider to get her horse going early and the pace was so slow at 7 furlongs she had plenty of horse left for the finish of the maiden race.

SUNDAY – Four wins for Eurico da Silva on a day when 8 favourites won the 10 races and the other 2 winners were 2 to 1 and 3 to 1.

Still, the feat by one of Woodbine’s track handicappers Dawn Lupul, picking all 10 winners on top, is remarkable no matter what the odds. This corner has been trying to pick winners  in newspapers and other places and never swept a card.

So the favourite-fest led to payoffs such as a $28 dollar pick 4 payoff (or $5.00 for a 2o cent bet).

HEYDON’S CASE, bred by Ericka Rusnak, became the first 2-time winner at the meeting with a gritty score in the last race. He also scorched 7 furlongs in 1:22.82, the fastest race of the day and a %7,500 claiming dash. Norm McKnight trains the son of Court Vision.

McKnight, with 2 wins on Sunday is tied with Mark Casse atop the trainer’s standings, Each has 7 wins.



with files by Greg Douglas – Kentucky Derby Day turned into Kentucky Dollar Day in more ways than one at Hastings Racecourse Saturday afternoon.

With the total wagering handle skyrocketing to $810,252 at Hastings – more than double last year’s number on opening day – a mammoth gathering of local racing fans got caught up in the emotion of the historic developments at Churchill Downs when 65-1 longshot Country House was placed first through a disqualification to win the 145thedition of the fabled Run for the Roses.

Deep lineups watched the Derby live on the jumbo screen, then proceeded to turn their attentions to four consecutive $50,000 stake races that closed the curtain on one of the most successful opening day celebrations in Hastings history.

When the out-of-town Derby dust cleared, jockey Enrique Gonzalez won both the Brighouse Belles, aboard George Gilbert’s mare GOOD LUCK TO YOU (Bellamy Road)  and Ross McLeod, with star filly SUMMERLAND (He’s Tops) for trainer Phil Hall while trainer Glen Todd also hit a stakes double with Denny Velazquez winning the Jim Coleman Province on  DR JOHN H (Harbor the Gold) and Scott Williams delivering the biggest upset of the day in the Swift Thoroughbreds Inaugural on PAN HANDLE (Texas Wildcatter).

PAN HANDLE, a BC-bred, posted an 81 Beyer Figure according to Daily Racing Form, the best Beyer of the opening day. He raced 6 1/2 furlongs in a sharp 1:16.97.

“It was a great start to the season,” said Hastings general manager Darren MacDonald.  “The horsemen really came to the party with a quality eight-race card, all with strong fields, and judging by the handle, the fans enjoyed it too.”