Maximum Security owners evaluating legal options after Kentucky Derby disqualification

The owners of Maximum Security, who was disqualified after winning the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, are still evaluating their legal options after an appeal of that decision was denied earlier this week.

Maximum Security won the Derby on Saturday, but was later ruled to have interfered with two other horses during the race. He was then disqualified, becoming the first winner to be disqualified in Derby history. Owners Gary and Mary West filed an official appeal with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Monday, though that appeal was denied that same day.

Still, days later, the Wests believe that their horse is the true winner of the Derby.

“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,” the Wests said in a statement. “Those same videos underscore why Maximum Security never should have been disqualified.”

The racing commission, after denying their appeal, told the couple that racing in the Derby was a “privilege.” The Wests said they agree, but that privilege also “comes with an obligation for fair, full and transparent treatment by the Commission and its licensees,” which they say did not happen.

The Wests have already threatened a lawsuit, and — despite losing their appeal with the commission — seem determined to continue fighting.

“Faced with Commission’s denial of any recourse, we are left to evaluate our legal options, which we are now doing,” they said in a statement. “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.”

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145th running of the Kentucky Derby
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145th running of the Kentucky Derby
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 04: Riders cross the finish line at the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4th, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 04: Maximum Security ridden by jockey Luis Saez trots after the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4th, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 04: Jockey Luis Saez of Maximum Security (7) reacts after the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4th, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 04: Riders Bodexpress (21) ridden by Chris Landeros, Long Range Toddy (18) ridden by Jon Court and Maximum Security (7) ridden by Luis Saez battle for the lead early during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4th, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 04: Riders Bodexpress (21) ridden by Chris Landeros, Long Range Toddy (18) ridden by Jon Court and Maximum Security (7) ridden by Luis Saez battle for an early lead during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4th, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 04: Bodexpress ridden by Chris Landeros trots during the poll parade at the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4th, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 04: Long Range Toddy ridden by Jon Court trots during the poll parade at the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4th, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 04: Spinoff ridden by Manny Franco trots during the poll parade at the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4th, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 04: Cutting Humor ridden by Mike Smith trots during the poll parade at the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4th, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Maximum Security is walked off the track after being disqualified for the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 4, 2019, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Flavien Prat rides Country House to the finish line during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 4, 2019, in Louisville, Ky. Country House was declared the winner after Maximum Security was disqualified following a review by race stewards. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
A woman arrives at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 4, 2019, before the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Jockey Flavien Prat reacts learning he won the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race when Maximum Security was disqualified at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 4, 2019, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Greg Payan)
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Maximum Security’s jockey hired lawyer to defend ‘flawless ride’

Luis Saez, Maximum Security’s jockey at the Derby, hired an attorney to defend himself should the commission attempt to discipline him for his disqualification at the Derby, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Saez, along with other jockeys, is expected to meet with racing stewards on Friday to review film of the race, his attorney Ann Oldfather told the Courier-Journal. Following that meeting, Saez could be fined or suspended for his actions in the race.

Saez was compared to a “drunk driver” by War of Will trainer Mark Casse in the days that followed the race, whose horse was caught in the middle of the infraction that led to Maximum Security’s disqualification. Oldfather called those accusations baseless, and said that Saez had a “flawless ride” under “great duress.”

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