Kentucky Derby: Maximum Security’s owner denied appeal over disqualification


Maximum Security was the first Kentucky Derby winner to be disqualified on the day of the raceA request to appeal against the controversial disqualification of Maximum Security as Kentucky Derby winner has been rejected.But the horse’s owner Gary West will fight on, and is planning legal action after Country House was declared victor in Saturday’s $3m (£2.2m) race.Maximum Security was first past the post in front of a 150,000 crowd but was ruled to have impeded rivals.United States president Donald Trump has criticised the disqualification.It was the first victor in the 145-year history of the race – the first leg of the Triple Crown – to be disqualified as winner on the day.Maximum Security veered out of line on the final turn and impeded War of Will and Long Range Toddy, prompting stewards to demote the initial victor to 17th place. Drama as Kentucky winner disqualifiedDerby-winning jockey Smullen retires on medical advice

A crowd of 150,000 gathered at Churchill Downs to watch the Kentucky DerbyLexington attorney Barry Stilz, on behalf of West, requested an appeal against the disqualification to the Kentucky Horse Race Commission (KHRC).Stilz argued the actions of the stewards at Churchill Downs were “arbitrary and capricious and did not comply with applicable administrative regulations”.He added: “Their determination to disqualify Maximum Security is not supported by substantial evidence.”The appeal was rejected, with a letter from KHRC general counsel John Forgy to Stilz explaining it was denied because Kentucky regulations do not allow appeals of stewards’ decisions.Despite that conclusion, West plans to continue his action and told “The state racing commission won’t hear our appeal, so we will take it to the appropriate legal venue, whatever that might be, probably somewhere in Kentucky.”My lawyers will figure it out. We’re in a holding pattern until we figure out where to file the suit.”He has an ally in Trump, who has claimed the race – on a rain-hit sloppy track – was “a beautiful thing to watch”.”Only in these days of political correctness could such an overturn occur. The best horse did NOT win the Kentucky Derby – not even close,” said Trump on Twitter:Chief steward Barbara Borden said in a news conference that she and two other stewards interviewed riders and studied video replays of the incident during a 22-minute review after the finish.They found Maximum Security guilty of interference and awarded the race to 65-1 outsider Country House.No horse had ever been disqualified immediately after winning the United States’ biggest race – though Dancer’s Image was stripped of the title in 1968 after a post-race test showed traces of a banned substance.The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the Triple Crown – followed by the Preakness Stakes on 18 May and the Belmont Stakes three weeks later.Country House will not run in the Preakness Stakes, ruling out the prospect of a treble winner this year.

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