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Kentucky Derby Makes Sports History With Disqualification

The Historic Call Made By Stewards Of The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission The Kentucky Derby ended with the shocking disqualification of Maximum Security after judges determined the horse “dangerously...

The Historic Call Made By Stewards Of The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission

The Kentucky Derby ended with the shocking disqualification of Maximum Security after judges determined the horse “dangerously impeded” the paths of other horses. This is the first time in Derby’s history that a horse has been disqualified for actions during the race. (Only one other horse, in 1968, has been disqualified, over a failed drug test.)

Maximum Security’s owner, Gary West, told reporters he is in “total disbelief” and plans to appeal the decision.

“We were stunned, shocked and in total disbelief,” West said on the ‘Today’ show. “The appeal has to be filed within 48 hours so we’ll be filing that today…I think this is something that is big enough that the entire racing world is looking at this and they deserve an opportunity to really know what was going on.”

The stewards of the Kentucky Derby refused to take questions about the disqualification or explain their decision-making process, West said.

“They’ve been about as non-transparent about this whole thing as anything I’ve ever seen in my life,” he said on “Today.”

The stewards made the ruling after Maximum Security went outside his lane and bumped into another horse during a turn. West blamed Maximum Security’s misstep on the fact that the Kentucky Derby race track is too crowded, allowing 20 horses on the track instead of 14, like most other races. Still, another horse, Country House, was ruled the winner.

“Churchill Downs, because they’re a greedy organization, has rather than 14 like you have in the Kentucky Oaks, the Breeders’ Cup, every other race in America, just because they can make more money, they’re willing to risk horse’s lives and people’s lives to do that,” West said.

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