Read more The lawsuit filed by Gary and Mary West on Tuesday says that stewards and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission relied on insubstantial evidence. The suit also questioned a bizarre and unconstitutional process before and after Maximum Securitys disqualification. Maximum Security crossed the finish line first before being disqualified and dropping to 17th for impeding the path of several horses. Runner-up Country House, a 65-1 shot, was elevated to first.
An explanation of the historic inquiry ruling that disqualified Maximum Security, making Country House the @KentuckyDerby winner. pic.twitter.com/YZqqn4ucbJ
The KHRC last week denied an appeal of the disqualification and said that the stewards decision was not subject to appeal. The lawsuit says that due process was denied.
Saez was suspended earlier this week for failure to control his mount and make the proper effort to maintain a straight course thereby causing interference with several rivals. Saez says he did nothing wrong during the race. I thought I never put anybody in danger, Saez said after the race. My horse shied away from the noise of the crowd and may have ducked out a little.
The result caused huge controversy, with even the US President weighing in. The Kentuky [sic] Derby decision was not a good one, Donald Trump wrote on Twitter the day after the race. It was a rough and tumble race on a wet and sloppy track, actually, a beautiful thing to watch. Only in these days of political correctness could such an overturn occur. The best horse did NOT win the Kentucky Derby – not even close!
Maximum Security owners suing to restore Kentucky Derby win
While the heads in the editorial offices of BloodHorse are collectively continuing to spin from the results of the May 4 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), there are all sorts of other spin out there. From Louisville to Baltimore, it seems everyone wants us to show another angle.
In the days following the Derby drama of the disqualification of Maximum Security from first to 17th, and the elevation of Country House to first, Gary and Mary West, the breeders/owners of the first-place finisher, have been posturing that horses running behind Maximum Security were the ones to blame for the colts coming out from the two path to about the four-and-a-half path on the second turn of the Derby. Their attorneys are doing their best to make sure no angle is left unseen.
His next race is uncertain but Dennis Drazin, chairman and CEO of Darby Development LLC, operators of Monmouth Park, said last week Maximum Security, if healthy, will likely run in the July 20 Haskell Invitational.
The Louisville Courier-Journal even released its own version of the race replay online, with dramatic slo-mo camera action of the break, which happened nearly a mile before the infraction occurred, to the first turn, and as the horses were running down the backstretch. At neither call of the race at those points was there any malfeasance nor chicanery…but there is dramatic foreshadowing. The frame-by-frame of the activity on the turn didnt reveal anything new to us, nor apparently to the stewards of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. We saw it live and plenty of times thereafter Derby night. We stand by the stewards call and agree with the 15-day suspension of jockey Luis Saez.
Lets hope this doesnt drag on nearly as long as the drama that unfolded between May 1968 and April 1973 as Peter Fuller tried to exonerate his Dancers Image after he had tested positive for phenylbutazone (Bute).
Meanwhile, in Baltimore the May 18 Preakness Stakes (G1)—the second leg of the Triple Crown—appears to be a wide-open affair, as is the subject of the future of Pimlico Race Course. The venerable track has seen better days, and seen a section of its grandstand become uninhabitable for the big day. Online images show a chain-link fence surrounding more than 6,000 prime-view seats that are usually filled with knowledgeable, fun-loving racing fans this time of year. The Stronach Group and the Maryland Jockey Club continue to spin for moving the event to Laurel Park, although it is nearly impossible to speak with anyone at the top level a week out from the event. The city of Baltimore filed suit against the MJC in March to seize Pimlico, but the spin there is the suit appears to have few teeth. The mayor of the city had her own issues as well, resigning from office May 2.
Wisener: Inquiry sign would have saved racing lots of trouble
Expect the city, state, track, horsemen, and fans to keep their powder dry to spin throughout Preakness weekend.
Maximum Security owners sue over Derby DQ
On the bright side, we see plenty of good in all of this posturing. Horse racing has become relevant again, for however briefly. Friends pull us aside to ask if the disqualification was the right thing. The in-laws are inquiring for our take. People want to know the real story.
There will be a new classic winner come May 18, with celebrations for breeder, owner, trainer, jockey, and connections. Will it be Derby favorite Improbable? Will the Derby-hindered War of Will prove he really had the goods May 4? Will it be Alwaysmining to give Marylanders a reason to boast for the first time since 1983?
These are all wholesome questions, considering what happened at Santa Anita Park earlier this year and what could have happened on the turn at Churchill Downs.
Considering Maximum Security and Country House arent on the grounds at Pimlico, the suspense figures to carry on throughout the summer, lending healthy debate as to the class and quality of the 3-year-old crop of 2019.
People want to see Maximum Security run again to see if he is, indeed, the best of the bunch. People also want to see Country Houses next race to see if hes classic worthy.