Commission denies Maximum Security disqualification appeal

Tyler Gaffalione | Coady

Tyler Gaffalione | Coady

There has been no word from Country House's connection on whether or not he will run in the Preakness.

While Maximum Security won't be at Pimlico, Country House is headed for the Preakness Stakes.

"I think there's no Triple Crown on the line for us and there's no reason to run a horse back in two weeks when you don't have to", he said.

"We had a lengthy review of the race", Kentucky Horse Racing Commission chief steward Barbara Borden told The Associated Press in a statement. I don't think they should space anything out anymore.


According to the rules of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, stewards are responsible for "all findings of fact" and decisions "shall be final and not subject to appeal".

'I think there's no Triple Crown on the line for us, ' West said.

It was the first time in 145 years that the horse who finished first was disqualified from winning the Kentucky Derby based on disqualification from the stewards.

The owners of Maximum Security, the horse whose win at the 2019 Kentucky Derby was taken away in controversy, filed an appeal on the finish earlier today.


Horse racing announcer Mike Battaglia told CNN there was an "unwritten rule" in the sport that officials give riders and horses more leeway in the Kentucky Derby, but he backed stewards for sticking to the rules. The disqualification handed victory to 65-1 longshot Country House. (Country House was more of a long shot, therefore giving a higher payout, so his betters were no doubt thrilled.) But the Kentucky Derby is also an event rooted in tradition-like the traditions of fancy hats and lots of booze-and the crowd was full of people booing, presumably just because they didn't like the deviation from the normal flow.

Stilz is also seeking all materials related to the stewards' disqualification determination, including their notes "and the recording of their almost 22 minutes of deliberations; and any written decision issued by the stewards with respect to Maximum Security's disqualification", the letter said. The decision paid off, as Spend a Buck won the Jersey Derby nine days after the Preakness and took home $2.6 million in total prize money, at the time the largest single purse in US horse racing history (a Preakness win was only worth about $300,000 at the time).

When asked for comment, Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery said in an email to Reuters that the infraction by Maximum Security had nothing to do with the number of horses in the race and that there is no evidence to the contrary.

The owner has acknowledged that the legal proceedings could take "months, if not years, down the road".


That's where Gary West, the owner of Maximum Security, came down on it (starts at 2:40 mark). In 2002, Buddha won the Wood Memorial and was co-second choice on the Kentucky Derby morning line but was scratched the day before the race because of lameness in his left leg.

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