Max Player’s track record isn’t extensive, but it is impressive, running second in his debut at one mile in November at Parx before winning at the same track and distance at second asking in December, rallying from fifth for a 4 ¼-length score on a sloppy and sealed track.
The colt’s New York debut built on that success when he defeated a talented field, including runner-up Shotski, by 3 ¼ lengths in the Grade 3 Withers in February at Aqueduct Racetrack. By earning a personal-best 86 Beyer Speed Figure, Max Player also showed he could thrive at the 1 1/8-mile distance, which will be the same for the Belmont Stakes for this year’s edition instead of the traditional 1 1/2-mile test.
Max Player will be trainer Linda Rice’s first Belmont Stakes entrant since Supervisor finished fifth in 2003. His owner, George E. Hall, has enjoyed success in the Classic, with Ruler On Ice capturing the 2011 edition. Joel Rosario, who captured last year’s Belmont Stakes aboard Sir Winston, has the call on Max Player.
The highest-earning progeny in 2020 of Honor Code, Max Player was bred in Kentucky by K&G Stables.