Citing “arbitrary and capricious acts” by race stewards in reviewing Saturday's Kentucky Derby, owners for Maximum Security filed an appeal Monday with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission over their horse’s disqualification.?
The KHRC then moved swiftly to deny the appeal, citing its position on the finality of?stewards' rulings.
The appeal was filed through Lexington-based attorney Barry Stilz, who is representing Gary and Mary West, owners of Maximum Security.
The race’s winning horse was disqualified and dropped to 17th when stewards ruled that he drifted out of his running lane and impacted the progress of other horses in the race, making second-place Country House the winner.
“The stewards' acts in reviewing the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby were arbitrary and capricious and did not comply with applicable administrative regulations. Their determination to disqualify Maximum Security is not supported by substantial evidence,” read the appeal, which was signed by Gary West and sent to Marc Guilfoil, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
The Wests’ appeal requested?all purse monies from the Kentucky Derby be withheld and placed in escrow “pending final determination of the matter.”
It also asked?for copies of all replays viewed by stewards, notes and?recordings of the review and recordings of statements made by jockeys, trainers or others that were considered.
"Given the enormous importance of this race and the unprecedented outcome on Saturday,” read the appeal, “we ask that the Wests' complaint, protest, objection and appeal be heard forthwith by the full Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and that we be provided with notice and an opportunity to be present at any meeting or proceeding at which Maximum Security's disqualification or the Wests' complaint ... is discussed or reviewed.”
Though?stewards refused to field questions from the media after the Kentucky Derby. chief steward for the state of Kentucky, Barbara Borden, read a?statement.
"We had a lengthy review of the race," Borden said. "We interviewed affected riders. We determined that the 7 horse (Maximum Security) drifted out and impacted the progress of Number?1 (War of Will), in turn, interfering with the 18 (Long Range Toddy)?and 21 (Bodexpress).?Those horses were all affected, we thought, by the interference."
KHRC regulations state that stewards’ findings as to matters that occur during a race “shall be final and not subject to appeal.”
Speaking to?the Associated Press on Saturday night, Gary West called the stewards' decision the "most egregious disqualification in the history of horse racing,?and not just because it's our horse," hinting at the possibility of exploring additional legal options after an appeal.?
"If the state racing commission refuses to hear about it," West said Monday morning during an appearance on NBC's "TODAY" show,?"I think this is something that's big enough that the entire racing world is looking at this. And I think they deserve an opportunity to really know what was going on."
Guilfoil has publicly backed the stewards’ disqualification,?telling Bloodhorse.com?that “It was the correct call. … I applaud them. They're the best of the best."
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Kentucky Derby appeal filed by Maximum Security owners is denied