Maximum Security owners sue to have Kentucky Derby demotion overturned | Horse Racing News – Racing Post

Maximum Security owners sue to have Kentucky Derby demotion overturned | Horse Racing News - Racing Post

Maximum Security owners sue to have Kentucky Derby demotion overturned | Horse Racing News

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

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.

Maximum Security owners file lawsuit over disqualification – Horse Racing

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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?

Owner Gary West is seeking to have the disqualification of Maximum Security in the Kentucky Derby overturned through a lawsuit filed on Tuesday with the US District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Lexington Division, according to a media statement issued on Wednesday.

Maximum Security initially finished first in the race, but stewards overturned the result after it was determined the horse illegally drifted into War of Will’s path and affected other horses. Luis Saez, the horse’s jockey, was suspended for 15 days for failing to control the horse.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC), the commissions staff, and the stewards at Churchill Downs – Kentucky chief steward Barbara Borden, Brooks Butch Becraft and association steward Tyler Picklesimer – are named as defendants in the lawsuit that refers to the disqualification of Maximum Security from first to 17th as a “bizarre and unconstitutional process”.

Maximum Security appeared to hold off Country House during the muddy final stretch of the Derby. However, stewards determined that Maximum Security impeded the path of several horses between the far and final turns of the race.

The suit further states: “The insubstantiality of the evidence relied on by the stewards to disqualify Maximum Security, and the bizarre and unconstitutional process to which the plaintiffs were subjected before and after the disqualification, are the subjects of this action.”

Gary and Mary West filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Frankfort, Ky., seeking to have the decision to disqualify Maximum Security overturned and have the original decision reinstated, ESPN reported.

Either during the running of the Derby or after, the stewards could have directed a sign be flashed on the infield board informing the public that an inquiry was being conducted by them to determine whether a foul had been committed. Having not observed any foul or interference, there was no inquiry by the stewards.

The owners called the disqualification process “bizarre and unconstitutional” and said the lack of an appeals process violated their right to due process, ESPN reported, citing the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, an objection was first lodged by Flavien Prat, the jockey on Country House, who was declared the winner after the disqualification. Prats objection was disallowed as “meritless”. An objection was also lodged by Jon Court, the rider of Long Range Toddy, who finished 17th, and Courts objection was allowed.

After his Kentucky Derby race made him the talk of the sport, Maximum Security arrived at Monmouth Park last week. While hes stalled just a few hundred feet from the first turn on Monmouth Parks oval for the next month, Servis said Maximum Security will start training Thursday after resting following a grueling race in the Run for the Roses.

Maximum Security owners sue over Derby DQ

The statement issued by the stewards after the disqualification, according to the lawsuit, said: “We interviewed affected riders” and “determined” that Maximum Security had “drifted out and impacted the progress of Number 1 (War Of Will), in turn interfering with the 18 (Long Range Toddy) and 21 (Bodexpress).”

Wisener: Inquiry sign would have saved racing lots of trouble

Wests lawsuit notes the stewards said nothing about whether the alleged foul altered the finish of the Derby or otherwise caused any horse to have been denied a better placement in the order of finish. Bodexpress finished 14th, and neither Tyler Gaffalione (the rider of War Of Will) nor War Of Wills connections – nor Bodexpress connections and jockey Chris Landeros – lodged any objection with the stewards.

According to the lawsuit, neither Gaffalione, the rider of the horse the stewards said was the most “affected” by Maximum Security, nor Landeros were interviewed by the stewards.

Maximum Security, the horse disqualified from the Kentucky Derby horse race, looks on after arriving at its home barn at Monmouth Park Racetrack, Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Oceanport, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

An explanation of the historic inquiry ruling that disqualified Maximum Security, making Country House the @KentuckyDerby winner. pic.twitter.com/YZqqn4ucbJ

“When the stewards said in their statement that they interviewed affected riders, they were not truthful because neither Gaffalione nor Landeros was interviewed by the stewards,” the lawsuit states.

West filed the lawsuit after pursuing an appeal with the KHRC and having that request denied because state law does not allow for appeals. All stewards findings are considered final.

Maximum Security entered the Kentucky Derby unbeaten in four career starts, including a front-running victory in the Grade 1 Florida Derby. He finished 1¾ lengths ahead of Country House in the Kentucky Derby in another impressive front-running performance.

Maximum Security owners sue Derby to reverse DQ

“As a result of the disqualification, plaintiffs, the trainer, and the jockey of Maximum Security were denied any part of the $1,860,000 share of the Derby purse as well as a professional accomplishment that any horseman would cherish for life, plus the very substantial value that a Kentucky Derby winner has as a stallion,” according to the Wests statement. “The winners share of the Derby purse was paid to the connections of Country House, even though Prats objection was meritless, indeed frivolous. Country Houses connections received approximately $1.26 million more for being elevated to first than they would have received for second.”

Servis said he has been amazed by the outpouring of support for Maximum Security, with more than two dozen cards and letters and a half-dozen floral bouquets having been sent to the horses stall at Monmouth Park in the past two weeks.

Maximum Securitys owners file suit over unconstitutional Kentucky Derby DQ

Seeking redress from a violation of due process rights, the lawsuit requests “a reversal of the decision disqualifying Maximum Security and reinstatement of the original order of finish confirming that Maximum Security is the official winner of the Derby who remains undefeated”.

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The lawsuit also notes the disqualification of Maximum Security affected wagers estimated to be worth more than $100 million in winnings. Within a couple hours after the Derby, the TwinSpires.com online wagering platform and other Churchill Downs-related companies announced they would reimburse winning wagers on Maximum Security.

“Which can be viewed as an admission that Churchill itself disagreed with the stewards decision,” the Wests statement read. “Those bettors who did not wager through Churchill-related companies were left with no financial recourse, notwithstanding that Churchill received significant revenue from all of the outlets to whom they sent their signal.”

Maximum Security owners file suit for Kentucky Derby disqualification

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