Patience often pays off in horse racing, and the tale of Maxim Rate continued to be a prime example Sunday as Santa Anita’s 16-day fall meet came to an end.
A winner of two of her first three career races, including the Grade III Senorita Stakes at Santa Anita in May 2019, Maxim Rate then went sour. She finished no better than fifth in five consecutive races and was given a breather by trainer Simon Callaghan.
But she’s back on her game now.
After being idle for seven months, the 4-year-old daughter of Exchange Rate returned in June and has been on a roll since, winning three of five, including Sunday’s $200,000 Grade II Goldikova Stakes with Umberto Rispoli aboard.
Maxim Rate, who has won five of 13 for earnings of $402,185, closed from fifth in her latest victory as the 2-1 second choice and beat 21-1 longshot Zee Drop by 2 1/2 lengths as even-money favorite Raymundos Secret could not go on in the stretch after carving out fractions of 22.79, 46.20 and 1:09.92.
Raymundos Secret wound up fourth in the seven-horse field. Zee Drop finished one length ahead of third-place finisher Tonahutu, who was a half-length in front of Raymundos Secret at the end.
The time for the 1 mile on turf was 1:33.85.
“She was always a very good filly, won her first time out, and then she just plateaued a little bit as a 3-year-old, so we gave her some time off,” Callaghan said. “Thankfully, the owners were really patient with her and that really helped her develop.
“I think she definitely is a better filly now, but I honestly think there’s more scope for improvement. Obviously, a very exciting filly for the future.”
Rispoli jumped back aboard Maxim Rate after Luis Saez had the mount in the Grade I Rodeo Drive at Santa Anita on Sept. 26. She finished second that day behind Mucho Unusual.
On Sunday, she broke a bit tardy, and she was three-wide approaching the quarter pole, but Rispoli was not concerned. He knew he was sitting on a lot of horse.
“We know that she can go further in the distance, and that’s why I wasn’t afraid to go three-wide,” he said. “Everybody knows I like to save ground, but that was not the case. I knew that she could go further, and she responded really well.
“When she took the lead she kind of pulled herself up a little bit, but she’s definitely improving and I think she still can improve.”
Callaghan said the original plan after the Rodeo Drive was to wait and run in the Grade I Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar on Nov. 29, but Maxim Rate was doing too well to leave her in the barn.
“She came out of her last race so well so I said (to the owners), ‘To be honest, we kinda need to run this filly because she is doing great,’ ” Callaghan said. “Thankfully, it worked out. It was a great win today.”
Co-owner Nick Cosato was appreciative of his trainer’s advice.
“Simon came to me and said this filly is doing too good, we have to run her,” he said. “That’s pretty impressive. When you give a trainer the latitude to wait and they urge you to run in a race that you hadn’t originally intended to run, it says a lot.
“It’s great to win this, and the goal is still to run in the Matriarch. The timing is good.”
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