A video released by an attorney for a Kentucky Derby jockey raises new issues about the controversial disqualification of Maximum Security as the winner of the big race.
Maximum Security crossed the finish line first May 3, but was disqualified after race officials determined that he had impeded the path of other horses as he appeared to swerve right from the rail.
A carefully annotated video (above) provided to racing officials by an attorney for Maximum Security’s jockey Luis Saez, however, appears to show War of Will crowding Maximum Security, which may have forced Maximum Security to change lanes.
A written commentary with the video claims that War moved too soon into an “anticipated opening” near Maximum Security. War of Will may have even clipped Maximum Security with his hooves or legs, forcing the frontrunner to “jump out of the way,” and causing a veering domino effect, the video commentary argued.
It was the first time in history that a winner has been disqualified in the Kentucky because of a foul.
Gary and Mary West, owners of Maximum Security, believe the newly released video exonerates their horse, reported the Louisville Courier Journal.
Attorney Karen Murphy told the newspaper Saturday that the video is “indisputable” and “gives a full picture of what happened.” She added that there is “no doubt” that War of Will started the interference.
“Maximum Security did absolutely nothing wrong,” Murphy said. “All he did was protect himself.”
The Wests appealed the race ruling Monday, but the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission denied their request, stating that racing stewards’ decision about race events are “final and not subject to appeal.” Gary West has said he will file a lawsuit regarding the decision against his horse, who was the only undefeated horse in the field of the Derby when the race began.
War of Will’s owner could not immediately be reached for comment. The racing commission has not responded to the video.
Maximum Security was dropped down to 17th place in a field of 19 horses after racing officials ruled that the horse interfered with the progress of War of Will, who in turn interfered with Long Range Toddy and Bodexpress.
Country House, a 65-1 longshot who finished second, was then deemed the official winner of the 145th Kentucky Derby about 20 minutes after the end of the race.
Country House was the second-longest shot to ever win the Derby. Code of Honor officially finished second, and Tacitus moved up to third place.
The winner took home an estimated $1.86 million.