DQ'd Kentucky Derby Horse's Owner Rips Churchill

Gary West, the owner of disqualified Kentucky Derby horse Maximum Security, said Monday on TODAY that he intends to appeal the stewards' decision in hopes of getting his horse reinstated as the race's winner. Maximum Security crossed the finish line in first place on Saturday, but was dropped to 17th after Churchill Downs stewards ruled that he impeded the progress of several rivals by veering into them in the final turn. Complicating West's plan to appeal to the state racing commission is that, at Churchill, stewards' decisions "shall be final and shall not be subject to appeal." On Sunday, West told The Daily Racing Form, "The only recourse a person would have would be to get it into the federal court system." On Monday, he seemed to reiterate that he might be willing to challenge the controversial ruling in federal court, telling TODAY, “If the state racing commission refuses to hear about it, I think this is something that’s big enough that the entire racing world is looking at this." West also said Monday that Maximum Security will skip the Preakness Stakes on May 18 because "there’s no Triple Crown on the line for us." Furthermore, he took a swipe at "greedy" Churchill Downs for capping the Derby field at 20 horses instead of the usual 14. “Just because they can make more money, they’re willing to risk horses lives and people’s lives to do that,” he said.

Jason Hurst

Jason Hurst

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