The owners of disqualified Kentucky Derby winner Maximum Security are evaluating their legal options after an appeal of the decision was denied by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
Gary and Mary West said in a statement Thursday that they believe with “a just and proper hearing of our case Maximum Security will be restored as the rightful winner of this year’s Kentucky Derby.”
The colt crossed the finish line first only to be DQ’d and placed 17th for interference in the final turn Saturday.
The Wests say Maximum Security’s win “is clearly and convincingly supported by actual video of the race. Those same videos underscore why Maximum Security never should have been disqualified.”
It was the first DQ for interference by a winner in the Derby’s 145-year history.
In denying the Wests’ appeal, they say the racing commission told them it was a “privilege” to participate in horse racing in Kentucky.
The couple says they agree, but that privilege “comes with an obligation for fair, full and transparent treatment by the Commission of its licensees. That did not occur here.”
Meanwhile, stewards at Churchill Downs granted Maximum Security’s jockey Luis Saez additional time to meet with them to review video of his ride in the Derby.
Kentucky chief state steward Barbara Borden told The Blood-Horse that Saez was given an extension since he was riding in New York on Thursday.
The stewards could decide to fine, suspend or take no action against Saez, which is common for any disqualification.