Owners of Maximum Security evaluating legal options following Derby disqualification

Owners of Maximum Security evaluating legal options following Derby disqualification
Maximum Security was disqualified from Kentucky Derby 145, making Country House the winner. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The owners of Maximum Security maintain the horse should have kept the Kentucky Derby 145 crown.

Maximum Security crossed the finish line first, but was quickly disqualified when stewards determined he bothered multiple horses near the top of the stretch.

Country House was then declared the winner.

Country House was crowned the winner of Kentucky Derby 145 after a controversial ruling at Churchill Downs.
Country House was crowned the winner of Kentucky Derby 145 after a controversial ruling at Churchill Downs. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Gary and Mary West, owners of Maximum Security, weighed in on the decision by stewards to disqualify the horse in the following statement:

"We remain convinced that our horse Maximum Security was the best horse in the 145th Kentucky Derby and that his decisive win on Saturday, May 4, is clearly and convincingly supported by the actual video of the race. Those same videos underscore why Maximum Security should have never been disqualified.

Following this unprecedented decision by the Churchill Downs stewards, we immediately sought to understand why our horse was taken down by reviewing video footage with the stewards. Our request was declined.

On the Monday morning following the race we filed a formal “protest, objection and appeal” letter with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission seeking the opportunity to be heard “forthwith” by the full Commission. That request was summarily denied only hours later that same day. In denying our request, counsel for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission reminded us that it was a “privilege” to participate in horse racing in Kentucky. And we agree -- however, that “privilege” comes with an obligation for fair, full and transparent treatment by the Commission of its licensees. That did not occur here.

Faced with the Commission’s denial of any recourse we are left to evaluate our legal options, which we are now doing. We believe that with a just and proper hearing of our case Maximum Security will be restored as the rightful winner of this year’s Kentucky Derby.

We will be making additional public statements in the near future advising of our course of action."

Neither Maximum Security nor Country House will run in the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown.

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