Maximum Security's jockey suspended after Kentucky Derby disqualification

Stewards for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission announced in a statement Monday that Luis Saez, Maximum Security’s jockey, is suspended 15 days for interfering with riders during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby.

The stewards met with those involved Friday. Saez and his lawyers provided a video alleging War of Will and his jockey were the ones to interfere. The video highlights language used by announcers during the race and the “domino effect” caused by War of Will that also resulted in the horse scraping against Maximum Security’s hooves.

Maximum Security crossed the finish line first but was later disqualified, a first for the Kentucky Derby. Country Horse was named the winner while Maximum Security

The KHRC suspended Saez for “failure to control his mount and make the proper effort to maintain a straight course thereby causing interference with several rivals that resulted in the disqualification of his mount.”

No other jockeys will be punished, per the statement. Saez will be suspended beginning May 23. It runs through June 14.

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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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Saez plans to appeal

Attorneys for Saez intend to appeal the suspension, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. It can be appealed to the commission and the courts, unlike the decision to disqualify a horse.

Karen Murphy, an attorney for Maximum Security owners Gary and Mary West, told the Courier-Journal that Saez “didn’t do anything wrong.”

The owners, as of late last week, were still evaluating their legal options. They filed an appeal the Monday after the race but it was quickly denied by the KHRC.

Saez, 26, is a native of Panama. He has won several races at Belmont Park in New York since the derby, per the Courier-Journal, including a first-place spot at the Grade 3 Peter Pan Stakes over the weekend.

The Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of the Triple Crown, is Saturday. Maximum Security will not race due to health reasons. The suspension does not begin until late next week, opening the door for Saez to ride a different horse.

The Belmont Stakes is June 8, which falls in the middle of his suspension.

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