With Saturday’s victory in the $1 million Haskell Invitational (G1), Maximum Security showed who’s boss in the three-year-old division. He rebounded smartly from a second in the June 16 Pegasus at Monmouth Park, the only time the front-running colt had failed to finish first from six previous starts, and garnered a career-best 104 BRIS Speed rating for the 1 ¼-length decision. Trainer Jason Servis said the $1.25 million Travers (G1) on August 24 will be next and the “Midsummer Derby” promises to be an exciting affair at Saratoga. Game Winner and Code of Honor were already waiting in the wings following their respective tallies in the Los Alamitos Derby (G3) and Dwyer (G3), and this Saturday’s Jim Dandy (G2) represents the final prep for Belmont (G1) runner-up Tacitus, Preakness winner War of Will and Peter Pan (G3) victor Global Campaign. The three-year-old division looks capable of making a serious impact in the Breeders’ Cup Classic this fall given questions surrounding the depth and quality of the older male division. Maximum Security had to survive a stewards’ inquiry for an incident on the far turn of the Haskell when advancing past King for a Day. That rival nearly hit the rail while checking sharply as Maximum Security took his positioning towards the inside and even though it didn’t affect the top two finishers, with Mucho Gusto second best, King for a Day did not persevere and lost any chance for third as John Velazquez protected his mount. Stewards quickly dismissed the inquiry but for the second time in three starts, Maximum Security has been involved in a situation that arguably compromised another’s chances for a minor award. I’m not blaming the horse, Maximum Security has Luis Saez aboard to guide him and didn’t need to take the path of a weakening rival. The sophomore colt proved best in the Kentucky Derby but was disqualified after Saez failed to keep him straight and unnecessarily impeded a rival leaving the far turn. It was the correct call according to the rules but left a bad taste in the mouth of observers without financial motivation. Saez received the benefit of the doubt from many after the Kentucky Derby and I was dismayed to see him not exercise more caution on the far turn of the Haskell. Maximum Security showed his tractability racing an up-close third down the backstretch behind a solid pace and it’s easy to appreciate how he finished. The Gary & Mary West homebred registered a triple-digit BRIS Late Pace rating (101), which had been a staple of three consecutive starts before the Pegasus and is characteristic of a top-class horse. The Travers is shaping up to be an important prep for the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Maximum Security will be the one to beat following a sharp Haskell win.