Owner of Disqualified Horse Plans to Appeal

And Maximum Security won't race at the Preakness, either
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2019 1:06 PM CDT
Owner of Disqualified Horse Plans to Appeal
Luis Saez rides Maximum Security entering the first turn during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday.   (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

The owner of the horse who was disqualified after finishing first in the Kentucky Derby thinks he got robbed—and he plans to appeal the decision with the state racing commission. "We were stunned, shocked, and in total disbelief," Gary West, owner of Maximum Security, tells NBC News. "The appeal has to be filed within 48 hours so we’ll be filing that today." West adds that his horse will not run in the Preakness, now that the possibility of a Triple Crown is off the table. Two related reactions:

  • The new winner: "I feel terrible that I have to apologize for winning," says Bill Mott, trainer of winning horse Country House, per CBS News. "I'm thrilled with the horse, I'm thrilled with everyone that's worked with the horse. They deserved the win." His jockey and another rider raised official objections immediately after the race that Maximum Security interfered with other horses.
  • Scathing indictment: The controversy is a joke, given that the entire sport of horse racing "is a foul," writes columnist Sally Jenkins at the Washington Post. "This isn’t a sport; it’s a fancied-up vice," she writes. "Horse people counted on the excitement of the Derby to obscure the fact that 23 horses died at Santa Anita this winter, and Churchill Downs, too, is one of the deadliest tracks in America." Jenkins makes her case here.
(President Trump viewed the decision as "political correctness.")

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