Maximum Security owner Gary West considering legal options after disqualification
The owner of colt Maximum Security is considering filing an appeal of his horse’s disqualification from Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.
Maximum Security crossed the finish line first in the 145th running of the race and was immediately deemed the unofficial winner. However, the handlers of Country House, the horse that finished second, filed an objection, believing Maximum Security committed a foul on the final turn.
The stewards reviewed the race video and spoke to the jockeys involved. After at least 15 minutes of their review, the stewards decided to disqualify Maximum Security, realizing that video showed the horse had impeded the path of two other competitors. The disqualification made Country House the winner.
Maximum Security’s owner, Gary West, initially said he would accept the outcome.
Gary West says he’s doubtful they’ll appeal. ‘That’s racing.’ He compared it to Wide World of Sports: Thrill, then ‘the agony of defeat.
— Bryce Miller (@Bryce_A_Miller) May 4, 2019
A few hours later, West had changed his tune. According to San Diego Union-Tribune columnist Bryce Miller, West said he was considering an appeal and would review his legal options.
Just texted Gary West, asking if he'll appeal the bizarre DQ of original Ky Derby winner Maximum Security: 'I have to study the film and review my legal options. I won't know anything for a couple of days – but I might.'
— Bryce Miller (@Bryce_A_Miller) May 5, 2019
The question becomes whether the Wests identify any grounds for an appeal or legal action. They got a taste of victory for a few minutes before things were handed over to Country House, so having that ripped away from them is probably exceedingly difficult.
This outcome does not change that Maximum Security is a great racehorse who has finished first in all five races he has run.