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Kentucky Derby saga continues

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The owners of disqualified Kentucky Derby winner Maximum Security (r) will pursue legal options.

The owners of disqualified Kentucky Derby winner Maximum Security are pursuing legal options to try to have the colt reinstated.

Gary and Mary West have issued a statement saying they believe Maximum Security is the rightful winner under the rules.

Country House, who originally ran second, was declared the winner of the famous race last weekend with Maximum Security demoted to 17th after stewards determined he caused interference to several runners.

“We remain convinced that our horse Maximum Security was the best horse in the 145th Kentucky Derby and that his decisive win on Saturday, May 4, is clearly and convincingly supported by the actual video of the race. Those same videos underscore why Maximum Security never should have been disqualified,” the Wests’ statement said.

“Following this unprecedented decision by the Churchill Downs stewards, we immediately sought to understand why our horse was taken down by reviewing video footage with the stewards.

“Our request was declined.

“On the Monday morning following the race we filed a formal “protest, objection and appeal” letter with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission seeking the opportunity to be heard “forthwith” by the full Commission.

“That request was summarily denied only hours later that same day. In denying our request, counsel for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission reminded us that it was a “privilege” to participate in horse racing in Kentucky. And we agree — however, that “privilege” comes with an obligation for fair, full and transparent treatment by the Commission of its licensees. That did not occur here.

“Faced with Commission’s denial of any recourse we are left to evaluate our legal options, which we are now doing. We believe that with a just and proper hearing of our case Maximum Security will be restored as the rightful winner of this year’s Kentucky Derby.”

The Wests have already ruled Maximum Security out of next week’s Preakness Stakes while Country House will also be absent meaning no matter what happens there will be no Triple Crown winner this year.

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