At a glance

  • Colt, Ontario-bred, foaled March 8, 2022
  • By Maximum Security out of Tocco
  • Trainer: Kevin Attard
  • Foundation development at Margaux Farm (KY)
  • Acquired at the 2023 Fasig-Tipton July Sale

There are gifted individuals who excel at one sport and others who are strong in two. Few athletes in history are as remarkable as Canadian Lionel Conacher who not only excelled at every sport, but also went on to serve in Parliament.

Nicknamed “The Big Train”, Toronto-born Lionel Conacher was a member of the 1921 Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts football team, won the NHL’s Stanley Cup twice as a member of the 1934 Chicago Black Hawks and the 1935 Montreal Maroons, and played on the Toronto Maple Leafs baseball team that won the 1926 International League championship.

As a teenager, Conacher played on 14 different teams and won 11 championships. When he was 16, he also won the Ontario Lightweight Wrestling Championship and started skating for the first time. At 20, he won the Canadian amateur light-heavyweight boxing championship and later took on heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey in an exhibition bout. Conacher also won national championships in lacrosse and wrestling while excelling in track and field.

By no means a passenger on his teams, Conacher was a fierce, dominant competitor. After winning his first Stanley Cup with the Black Hawks, Conacher received the second-most votes for the Hart Trophy as league MVP (even though hockey was his weakest sport). As an All-Star defenseman, he was such a renowned shot blocker over the course of 12 pro seasons that players called him the “Traveling Goalie”.

Named Canada’s top football player, Conacher was instrumental in the Argo’s 1921 Grey Cup win, single-handedly putting up 15 of Toronto’s 23 points and setting a Grey Cup single-game record. After scoring two touchdowns and kicking a field goal, Conacher actually left that game at the end of the third quarter because it was well in-hand and he had to get to a hockey game with his Toronto Aura Lee club.  

After retiring as an athlete at the age of 37, Conacher entered politics and won election to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario where he served as Ontario’s athletic commissioner. In 1949, he won a seat in the House of Commons and became a federal Member of Parliament.

Lionel Conacher was named Canada’s Athlete of the Half Century in 1950. On May 26, 1954, he died while playing in an annual softball game between MPs and the press gallery. After stretching a single to a triple, he collapsed after reaching third base.

Conacher was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1955, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1964, the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1965, the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1994, the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 1996, and Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2022.  

From 1978 to this day, each year the Canadian Press gives the Lionel Conacher Award to Canada’s male athlete of the year.

About the sire

Our colt’s sire, Maximum Security, is a Kentucky-bred champion and black type winner of 10 races in 14 starts (10-2-0). He earned $12,432,900 in two seasons as a 3-year-old in 2019 and 4-year-old in 2020. Retired at the end of 2020, Maximum Security stood at Ashford Stud in Kentucky and commanded a $20,000 breeding fee. His first foals were yearlings of 2023 (of which our colt is one). His weanlings – thoroughbreds under a year old – have sold for up to $150,000.

In his 14 starts, Maximum Security hit triple-digit Beyer speed figures 11 times and won over distances ranging from 6 to 10 furlongs. Bloodhorse Magazine crowned him “one of the world’s best horses.” Trainer Bob Baffert called him “a top horse” and “the real deal”. Blood Horse Daily described Maximum Security as “a brilliant, gifted athlete.”

Maximum Security was named the American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse at the 49th annual Eclipse Awards after winning the Florida Derby, Haskell Invitational, Bold Ruler Handicap, and Cigar Mile. In the 2019 Kentucky Derby, he set the pace of the race but swerved out from the rail while on the lead in a move that impeded the progress of several other horses. While Maximum Security regained his momentum and crossed the finish line first, he was disqualified after 20 minutes of deliberation by the stewards. It was a very controversial decision and Maximum Security became the first horse in the Derby’s history to cross the finish line first only to be disqualified for an on-track infraction.

As a four-year-old in 2020, Maximum Security won the $20 million inaugural Saudi Cup.  The field in the 9-furlong race contained multiple Grade/G! winners from around the world including Mucho Gusto (2020 Pegasus World Cup winner) and McKinzie (2019 Alysheba Stakes and Whitney Stakes winner). Maximum Security passed Mucho Gusto with about 100 yards remaining and went on to win. As an interesting note, both Mucho Gusto (as a 2-year-old) and McKinzie (as a yearling) were bought for their owners by Canuck Racing Club managing partner Donato Lanni.

About the dam

Our colt’s dam, Tocco, was sired by Smart Strike: son of champion sire Mr. Prospector out of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame mare Classy ‘n Smart, and a half-brother to 1991 Canadian Triple Crown champion Dance Smartly. Twice honored as the leading Sire in North America, Smart Strike was the sire of 113 stakes winners, 12 champions, five Breeders’ Cup winners, and two Classic victors.

Tocco is a half-sister to Grade I winner Coil (7-2-3 in 14 starts, $1,154,360 in race winnings) and among the four stakes performers out of Eversmile, our colt’s second dam (aka his grandmother). Eversmile is a half-sister to champion Possibly Perfect and has produced seven winners from eight to race, including Tocco.

More Horses