Max­i­mum Se­cu­rity’s sta­tus un­clear af­ter DQ

The News-Times - - SPORTS -

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The next stop in the chase for the Triple Crown is the Preak­ness, though both Max­i­mum Se­cu­rity and Coun­try House re­main non­com­mit­tal for the May 18 race fol­low­ing Max­i­mum Se­cu­rity’s dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion from the Ken­tucky Derby.

Owner Gary West said Sun­day he is un­sure whether to en­ter Max­i­mum Se­cu­rity in the Preak­ness as he pon­ders ap­peal­ing the his­toric de­ci­sion.

West also said he re­al­izes the ap­peals process could ex­tend well be­yond the up­com­ing race at Pim­lico in Bal­ti­more. And with Ken­tucky rac­ing stew­ards’ rul­ing that Max­i­mum Se­cu­rity in­ter­fered with other horses that led to his dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion, there might not be a point to rac­ing the colt in the Triple Crown se­ries’ mid­dle jewel.

“When you’re not go­ing for the Triple Crown, some­times it doesn’t make sense to wheel the horse back in two weeks,” West said in a phone in­ter­view.

“If there’s go­ing to be an appeal it will al­most cer­tainly be be­fore the Preak­ness, but ap­peals his­tor­i­cally take some time to sort out. Win, lose or draw, we’re not go­ing to know the out­come of that un­til

prob­a­bly months, if not years, down the road.”

Max­i­mum Se­cu­rity was first to fin­ish Satur­day’s muddy Derby be­fore be­com­ing the mar­quee race’s first win­ner to be dis­qual­i­fied for in­ter­fer­ence. Stew­ards el­e­vated run­ner-up Coun­try House, a 65-1 long shot, to the win­ner’s cir­cle af­ter de­ter­min­ing that Max­i­mum Se­cu­rity im­peded his path and two oth­ers’ ex­it­ing the fi­nal turn. Max­i­mum Se­cu­rity was ul­ti­mately placed 17th of 19 horses af­ter start­ing as the 9-2 sec­ond bet­ting choice, end­ing his four-race win­ning streak.

Stew­ards cited a sec­tion of the rule that calls for dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion if “a lead­ing horse or any other horse in a race swerves or is rid­den to ei­ther side so as to in­ter­fere with, in­tim­i­date, or im­pede any other horse or jockey.”

Chief stew­ard Bar­bara

Bor­den said in a news con­fer­ence that she and two other stew­ards in­ter­viewed riders and stud­ied video re­plays of the in­ci­dent dur­ing a 22-minute re­view af­ter the fin­ish. The stew­ards did not take ques­tions from re­porters.

West said the ear­li­est he could see the stew­ards’ video ev­i­dence would be Thurs­day, which could de­ter­mine if he files an appeal in a process he was still try­ing to un­der­stand.

“We wanted to have the stew­ards ex­plain to us what they saw and show us on their video the pic­tures of ex­actly what they saw, and they re­fused to al­low us to do that,” he said.

“That was re­ally pretty bush league, be­cause there is no rule that they can’t show the film to the owner and trainer that got dis­qual­i­fied for the first time in the his­tory of the Ken­tucky Derby other than they aren’t work­ing to­day, or Mon­day, or Tues­day or Wed­nes­day.”

The only other dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion in the Derby oc­curred long af­ter the race in 1968. First-place fin­isher Dancer’s Im­age tested pos­i­tive for a pro­hib­ited med­i­ca­tion, and Ken­tucky state rac­ing of­fi­cials or­dered the purse money to be re­dis­tributed. For­ward Pass got the win­ner’s share. A sub­se­quent court chal­lenge up­held the stew­ards’ de­ci­sion.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump blasted Max­i­mum Se­cu­rity’s dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion, blam­ing the Derby out­come on “po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness.”

Gre­gory Payan / As­so­ci­ated Press

Luis Saez rides Max­i­mum Se­cu­rity dur­ing the Ken­tucky Derby Satur­day in Louisville, Ky. Coun­try House was de­clared the win­ner af­ter Max­i­mum Se­cu­rity was dis­qual­i­fied fol­low­ing a re­view by race stew­ards.

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