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Improbable beats Maximum Security in Awesome Again Stakes

ARCADIA, Calif. -- Improbable rallied from last to a 4½-length victory over stablemate Maximum Security in the $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, Improbable ran 1⅛ miles in 1 minute, 49.01 seconds to earn his third consecutive Grade 1 victory and fourth overall for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.

The victory earned Improbable an automatic berth in the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Keeneland on Nov. 7.

Maximum Security saw his six-race winning streak snapped in his third start for Baffert. The colt last year became the only horse in Kentucky Derby history to be disqualified for a racing infraction.

Improbable paid $5.60, $2.40 and $2.10 at 9-5 odds. Maximum Security returned $2.10 and $2.10 as the 1-2 favorite in the field of five. Midcourt was another half-length back in third and paid $2.40 to show.

"I knew I was coming in here with two really good horses," said Baffert, who earned his fourth Awesome Again win. "Maximum Security was in that scrum and they were really running up close [together]. I saw Drayden, he knew what was happening, so he just sat back. He rode a great race, he knew what was going on, he took his time, rode him with patience."

The victory, worth $180,000, increased Improbable's career earnings to $1,709,520, with seven wins in 14 starts.