Maximum Security owner admits he saw violation during Kentucky Derby
The owner of Maximum Security seemingly admitted on Monday that he saw the foul his horse committed that resulted in a disqualification at the Kentucky Derby, but he is still outraged that an objection was filed and the decision was made.
In an appearance on NBC’s “TODAY” show, Gary West confirmed that he is appealing the decision with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and said the stewards of the Kentucky Derby have been “about as non-transparent about this whole thing as anything I’ve ever seen in my whole life.” What’s more interesting is that he admitted he saw the foul from Maximum Security.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) May 6, 2019
“I obviously saw the horse move out, but in the Kentucky Derby where you’ve got 20 horses … and you shouldn’t have 20 horses,” West said. “Churchill Downs, because they’re a greedy organization, rather than 14 horses like you have in the Kentucky Oaks, the Breeder’s Cup and every other race in America, just because they can make more money they’re willing to risk horses’ lives and people’s lives…”
West’s argument seems to be that the Kentucky Derby field is too crowded, and his horse was just randomly targeted.
“Every Kentucky Derby you could sit down one or two or three horses if you wanted to, because it’s like a rodeo out there,” he added.
West is obviously facing an uphill battle. Maximum Security stable manager Ben Glass told Bill Finley of Thoroughbred Daily News that the 73-year-old is now contemplating if he should bow out of horse racing.
“He said, ‘You know what Benny, we tried to do this for 40 years and now we did it and the whole world is telling us we got robbed,” Glass said. “He said, ‘We’ve been doing this for 40 years and in 22 minutes they took it all away from us. Mr. West told me today that he thought maybe this would be a good time to graciously bow out of racing. He’s spent hundreds of millions of dollars in Kentucky on racehorses and after this he thinks that maybe his time and resources could be put to better use.”
West said Maximum Security will not be running in The Preakness Stakes, since he sees no reason to have the worse run again in two weeks when the possibility of the Triple Crown has now been taken away.
Video footage from the Kentucky Derby appears to show that the right call was made, but West alluded to the fact that the race stewards must have used binoculars and high definition technology to come up with their decision. It’s kind of like arguing that a foul shouldn’t have been called in the last few seconds of a basketball game just because it’s the last few seconds. If he’s planning to take legal action over the disqualification, West’s admission that he saw the foul from Maximum Security is not going to do him any favors.