Maximum Security owners file suit for Derby disqualification

The Associated Press
In this Saturday, May 4, 2019, file photo, from left, Country House, ridden by Flavien Prat, War of Will, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Maximum Security, ridden by Luis Saez, and Code of Honor, ridden by John Velazquez, round the far turn during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. If not for the quick reaction of jockey Tyler Gaffalione and his horse, War of Will, when Maximum Security drifted over in the final turn in sloppy conditions, it could have be been a catastrophe. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

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In this Saturday, May 4, 2019, file photo, from left, Country House, ridden by Flavien Prat, War of Will, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Maximum Security, ridden by Luis Saez, and Code of Honor, ridden by John Velazquez, round the far turn during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. If not for the quick reaction of jockey Tyler Gaffalione and his horse, War of Will, when Maximum Security drifted over in the final turn in sloppy conditions, it could have be been a catastrophe. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- The owners of Maximum Security have sued the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and race stewards, seeking to reverse the horse's disqualification for interference as Kentucky Derby winner and restoration of purse money.

The lawsuit filed by Gary and Mary West on Tuesday in U.S. District Court says that stewards relied on insubstantial evidence and questioned a ''bizarre and unconstitutional'' process before and after the disqualification. Maximum Security crossed the finish line first on May 4 before being disqualified and dropping to 17th for impeding the paths of several horses. Runner-up Country House, a 65-1 shot, was elevated to first.

The KHRC last week denied an appeal of the disqualification and said that the stewards' decision was not subject to appeal. The lawsuit says that due process was denied along with the $1.86 million winner's share of the $3 million purse, including $186,000 each for trainer Jason Servis and jockey Luis Saez.

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