Maximum Security's owners file suit over 'unconstitutional' Kentucky Derby DQ

·2 min read
Maximum Security, the horse disqualified from the Kentucky Derby horse race, is led off a trailer by Edelberto Rivas upon the horse's arrival at Monmouth Park Racetrack, Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Oceanport, N.J. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission denied the appeal of Maximum Security's disqualification as Kentucky Derby winner for interference, saying the stewards' decision is not subject to appeal. Racing stewards disqualified Maximum Security to 17th place on Saturday and elevated Country House to first after an objection filed by two jockeys. Stewards determined he impeded the paths of several horses in the race. Owner Gary West confirmed that Maximum Security won't run in the upcoming Preakness, saying there's no need without a chance to compete for the Triple Crown. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Maximum Security is not running the Preakness after his Kentucky Derby disqualification. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The owners of disqualified Kentucky Derby winner Maximum Security have officially filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the horse’s disqualification.

Per the Louisville Courier Journal, the suit was filed in a United States District Court in Frankfort, Kentucky, on Tuesday. In it, Gary and Mary West want the horse to be declared the winner of the Derby. They also, perhaps more importantly, want the horse to receive the winner’s share of the Kentucky Derby purse.

The Wests say in the suit that Maximum Security’s disqualification was “unconstitutional.” From the Courier Journal:

Among the defendants are the stewards who made the decision, including chief steward Barbara Borden, as well as several members of the Kentucky Horse Race Commission, including executive director Marc Guilfoil.

Susan West, the Horse Racing Commission spokeswoman, declined to comment on the lawsuit, citing the organization's policy to not comment on pending litigation.

Country House was declared the winner of the Derby after finishing second to Maximum Security, who was disqualified for veering wide and interfering with other horses earlier in the race. Maximum Security officially finished 17th.

Maximum Security jockey Luis Saez has also been suspended 15 days for failing to control the horse because of Maximum Security’s veer to the right in the turn.

The lawsuit, on the off-chance it’s successful on the grounds it violated the United States Constitution, would not restore Maximum Security’s chance at a Triple Crown. The horse isn’t running in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes.

The suit is also a last-ditch effort to get the horse declared as the rightful winner of the Kentucky Derby. The Wests appealed the disqualification decision immediately after the Derby to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and the appeal was denied. The disqualification was a unanimous decision by the race’s three stewards.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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