One Year Ago Today: Historic Derby finish ends in winner’s DQ

One Year Ago Today: Historic Derby finish ends in winner’s DQ
Maximum Security’s owners on Monday filed an appeal with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission following Saturday’s unprecedented disqualification of their Kentucky Derby-winning horse. (Photo: Dan Dry/PriceWeber)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Monday marks the one-year anniversary of the first-ever Kentucky Derby that ended with the disqualification of its winner due to interference in the race.

Stewards ruled that Maximum Security’s jockey, Luis Saez, veered into other horses as the pack hit the final turn on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs.

Maximum Security crossed the finish line first, but, following a more than 20-minute review, runner-up Country House earned the trip to the Winner’s Circle and Maximum Security was demoted to 17th place in the 19-horse field.

The controversy stretched for months, finally ending last November when a federal court upheld a Kentucky court’s ruling to toss owner Gary West’s case against the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, seeking to overturn his horse’s disqualification.

At one point following the Derby, West offered $20 million to several of Maximum Security’s Derby rivals to beat him by the end of the year, but nothing ever materialized.

The only other winner to be stripped of his title was Dancer’s Image, after testing positive for a banned substance long after his triumph in 1968. Forward Pass was ruled the winner and the purse was adjusted accordingly.

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