Road to the Kentucky Derby Horse Profile: Max Player

Feb 05, 2020 John Mucciolo/

George E. Hall’s Max Player picked up 10 points on the “2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby” following his going-away victory in the $250,000 Withers (G3) at Aqueduct. The 3-year-old colt went nine furlongs on the fast main surface in 1:53.87 under the guidance of Dylan Davis. 

Max Player improved his career mark to 3-2-1-0, with $173,500 in earnings following the 3 ¼-length triumph. He was unveiled on November 12 at Parx in a one-mile maiden special weight event. After breaking poorly, the debuter rallied in a big way to miss by just a half-length.

The colt came back on December 17 in a similar spot at the same venue, this time with blinkers on. The equipment change proved to be a successful one as the youngster pulled clear to a 4 ¼-length score. The Withers win was his initial stakes tally.

Max Player was bred in the Bluegrass State by K & G Stables, and he was a $150,000 RNA at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. The colt was produced from the stakes-winning Not For Love mare Fools in Love, who is a half-sister to 2015 Louisiana Derby (G2) and Risen Star (G2) hero International Star. Max Player counts Group-2 star Seahenge as a half-brother.

Conditioned by Linda Rice, the winner has improved his BRIS Speed figure (84-89-95) with each start to date. The dark bay is two-for-two since adding blinkers, and the late energy that he shows suggests that he will prosper going classic distances this spring.

Max Player has yet to face the upper echelon of his division, and he will need progression to be considered a viable Triple Crown contender. However, the well-bred prospect is from a fine family and is surely trending in the right direction. He will make a lot of noise on the 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby. 

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