PREAKNESS PROFILE: MAX PLAYER

Max Player
Max Player working at Churchill Downs prior to the Kentucky Derby. Photo courtesy of Churchill Downs.

The Steve Asmussen-trained Max Player will have Paco Lopez aboard in the Preakness. He’s 15-1 on the morning line and will leave from post number eight.

A winner twice in six starts, he earned his top win in the Grade 3 Withers back in February. Most recently he was fifth in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby.

Why He Could Win

  • Max Player (15-1) – George Hall & SportBLX Thoroughbreds/ Steve Asmussen/Paco Lopez
  • Race record: 6: 2-1-2, earnings of $463,500

Has run decently in last three against G1 company, when third in the Belmont and Travers and fifth in the Kentucky Derby…

Quick pace of the Derby left him a lot to do late, and he ran on willingly enough while improving position…

Is a graded winner, having scored easily in the G3 Withers in February…

Gets jockey Paco Lopez up in effort to move him closer to the early action and, in the eight-hole, is drawn better than in Louisville when he left from the rail…

Why He Could Lose

He was bested by two of today’s rivals — Authentic and Mr. Big News — in the Kentucky Derby and must find a way to turn tables…

Best Beyer figs slightly below others in here, so improvement a must…

While he hasn’t run badly in recent races, he’s never really been a threat to win them, either…

Has tried Grade 1 company three times with a best outcome of third and beaten at least five in all of them…

What They’re Saying About Him

Max Player has worked twice since the Kentucky Derby. The first of those was a bullet five-furlong move in 1:00 1/5 September 21 at Churchill Downs, and most recently was a half-mile work September 29.

“He had a long layoff before the Belmont, but then he’s had a robust campaign since,” owner George Hall said. “What’s most important to us is that he stays healthy and has a good 4-year-old and hopefully 5-year-old career. We didn’t really think there was negative toward running in the Preakness that would affect his long-term prospects as a 4-year-old. We’re pretty excited about what he’s going to do be doing in the future, too.”

“He’s an extremely impressive horse and I think he’s doing really well,” trainer Asmussen said. “His work [September 21] was excellent. His gallop-out was huge. He came out of it in very good shape, went back to the track with a whole lot of energy. Very exciting horse at the right time.”

Video Past Performances

Max Player09-05-20Kentucky DerbyCD5
08-08-20Travers StakesSAR3
6/20/2020Belmont StakesBEL3
2/1/2020Withers S.AQU1
  • The autumn of King Leatherbury
    Hall of Fame trainer King Leatherbury, fifth on the all-time wins list, is down to one owner and four horses — but no complaints.

LATEST NEWS