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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