Gary West: We’re filing an appeal over Maximum Security’s DQ

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher 

Maximum Security’s owner Gary West announced this morning on the TODAY show that he is appealing Saturday’s decision at Churchill Downs. Maximum Security was disqualified after initially winning the “Run for the Roses.”

The appeal will be made on Monday. 

Horse Racing
Horse Racing (Photo by Pixabay.com)

“I think this is something that’s big enough that the entire racing world is looking at this and I think they deserve an opportunity to really know what’s going on,” West said to TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie and Craig Melvin in an exclusive interview. “I was bit shocked and surprised that the [race] stewards wrote a statement that was probably prepared by their lawyers and refused, literally refused, to take a single question from the media, so they’ve been about as non-transparent about this whole thing as anything I’ve ever seen in my life.”

During the interview on TODAY, he also announced that Maximum Security will not be competing at the Preakness in Baltimore, Maryland on May 18th. This is the second leg of the Triple Crown. 

With Maximum Security missing the Preakness, the odds are he will likely miss the Belmont Stakes, as well, on June 8. 

“There’s no Triple Crown on the line for us, and there’s no reason to run a horse back in two weeks when you don’t have to.”

After initially winning, another jockey appealed the win. That led the Churchill Downs stewards to look over the video. 

Following their viewing, they determined that Maximum Security impeded the path way of War of Will, who then had to change his course. That then affected several horses in their path during Saturday’s 145th running of the Kentucky Derby. 

“It was literally, like the old TV show, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat all within a 22-minute period of time,” West said. “We were stunned, shocked, and in complete disbelief. It had never been done before.” 

Maximum Security led wire-to-wire. The horse also crossed the finish line with a 1 3/4th lengths lead over Country House. 

However, following the appeal, Country House was declared the winner, as Maximum Security was then dropped to 17th place. Country House and its connections won $1.86 million. 

The stewards cited this rule in their rulebook: “a leading horse or any other horse in a race swerves or is ridden to either side so as to interfere with, intimidate, or impede any other horse, or hockey,” as their reason for this decision.

There is one comment

  1. ozzy

    Very Rare & unusual occurrence: NEW VIDEO CLOSEUP EVIDENCE SHOWS Max. Sec. was FOULED FROM BEHIND WHEN War of Will ran up on Max Sec. FROM BEHIND AND THEN KNOCKED Max Sec off stride by interfering with Max’s REAR LEGS (NOT the 2 lead legs that everyone is talking about). This ONLY appears on some of the closeup videos from a very accurate NBC video which the stewards did not see during their decision. In fact the stewards were watching some very unusual video angles from the various media coverage of the race which are not the standard type of steward review angles. There was lots of confusion in all the different angles. On the surface the stewards decision SEEMED “obviously” correct, but now we see that it was actually MAX SEC who was FOULED FROM BEHIND (by War of Will) which caused Max Sec to be knocked off his own stride & THEN next bear out into the other horses which is the more usual occurrence in these type of fouls situations. It is very rare where the FOLLOWING horse was actually the guilty horse of the interference. This is not readily seen on standard normal steward review videos.

    I’ve been a horse race fan for 50+ years and this is one of the most unusual foul & disqualification situations I have ever seen. When I first saw the videos of Max. Sec. bearing out & impeding the horses to his outside at the top of the stretch this seemed like a very typical type of incident that often occurs which results in a dq of the horse who bore out & caused the interference. However that night I was looking at various internet commentaries & videos when I saw the video closeup that Jerry Bailey & Randy Moss were looking at. (That video is also here in this article)(Jerry & Randy also only focused on Max. Sec. bearing out with his FRONT Leads but this actually only occurred immediately AFTER HE HAD HIMSELF BEEN IMPEDED FROM BEHIND BY War Of Will running up aggressively from behind & trying to get off the rail to get around Max. Sec who was in front of War of Will. WAR OF WILL Knocked Max. Sec. OFF STRIDE from the REAR causing everything else that then next happened.

    Max Sec lost his footing immediately AFTER his Rear Legs had been interfered with from behind. THIS IS A VERY UNUSUAL OCCURRENCE. BUT IT IS OBVIOUS WHEN ONE SEES THIS NEW VIDEO EVIDENCE. This video is right here in this article & was not available to the stewards when they made their NOW retroactive INCORRECT DECISION IN SIGHT OF THIS NEW VERY RARE EVIDENCE. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    A very special race & a very special situation.

    Personally I think Churchill Downs probably made enough off this media event that they can afford to reimburse everyone involded. Declare 2 winners and pay both of them equally (with an asterisk* into history). Churchill made the wrong call that we see now based on the evidence that they had at hand at the time. THE NEW VIDEO SHOWS IN HINDSIGHT WHAT REALLY HAPPENED . The Churchill Stewards should have had more thorough video coverage for a race of this magnitude.

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