Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Gary and Mary West, owner and breeder of Maximum Security, issued a statement Thursday reasserting their view that the colt “never should have been disqualified” from last Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. After stewards ruled Maximum Security interfered with rivals near the 5/16ths pole at Churchill Downs, they placed him 17th in a decision the Wests are attempting to overturn.
After denied an appeal and hearing by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, the Wests are now “left to evaluate our legal options.”
RESPONSE: Barber, Casse deny involvement
The statement reads in full:
“We remain convinced that our horse MAXIMUM SECURITY was the best horse in the 145th Kentucky Derby and that his decisive win on Saturday, May 4, is clearly and convincingly supported by the actual video of the race. Those same videos underscore why MAXIMUM SECURITY never should have been disqualified.
“Following this unprecedented decision by the Churchill Downs stewards, we immediately sought to understand why our horse was taken down by reviewing video footage with the stewards. Our request was declined.
“On the Monday morning following the race we filed a formal ‘protest, objection and appeal’ letter with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission seeking the opportunity to be heard “forthwith” by the full Commission. That request was summarily denied only hours later that same day. In denying our request, counsel for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission reminded us that it was a ‘privilege’ to participate in horse racing in Kentucky. And we agree — however, that ‘privilege’ comes with an obligation for fair, full and transparent treatment by the Commission of its licensees. That did not occur here.
“Faced with Commission’s denial of any recourse we are left to evaluate our legal options, which we are now doing. We believe that with a just and proper hearing of our case MAXIMUM SECURITY will be restored as the rightful winner of this year’s Kentucky Derby.
“We will be making additional public statements in the near future advising of our course of action.