Maximum Security plans to sit out the second leg of the Triple Crown following a controversial disqualification at the Kentucky Derby.
Owner Gary West told “Today” that in addition to skipping the Preakness, he is lodging an appeal with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission contending Maximum Security should be restored as the winner of the Kentucky Derby.
“We are going to file an appeal today with the state racing commission,” West said. “Right after the race I had the trainer call the stewards and very nicely ask them if they would be willing to visit with us after the races were over. I said we’ll stay here until 11-12 o’clock at night. Whatever you want. And they said, ‘Absolutely not, we won’t be showing the films until Thursday.’ We didn’t really have any alternative legally. The appeal has to be filed within 48 hours.”
An appeal might not be considered.
According to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, stewards are responsible for “all findings of fact as to all matters occurring during and incident to the running of a race,” and “findings of fact and determination shall be final and not subject to appeal.”
Maximum Security was the first horse to cross the finish line Saturday, but after a 22-minute review, stewards disqualified the colt. The jockeys aboard Country House — the initial runner-up, ruled the winner of the race by virtue of Maximum Security’s disqualification — and 17th-place finisher Long Range Toddy filed objections that they were cut off by Maximum Security in a 20-race field that annually makes for maximum congestion around the track.
West said Monday it was like “a rodeo,” and finds the actions of his horse and jockey no different than in Derbys past.
“You shouldn’t have 20 horses in the Kentucky Derby. Churchill Downs, because they’re a greedy organization, has (20 horses) rather than 14 like you have in the Kentucky Oaks, the Breeders’ Cup, every other race in America,” West said. “Just because they can make more money, they’re willing to risk horses’ lives and people’s lives to do that. I’m not a fan of that. I think you should have 14 like every other race.”
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)