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New Video Raises Questions About The Kentucky Derby Disqualification

A video released by an attorney for the jockey who rode Maximum Security in the Kentucky Derby raises new issues about the controversial disqualification of the horse as the winner of the big race.

Maximum Security crossed the finish line first in the May 4 race, 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 the lawyer for jockey Luis Saez, however, appears to show War of Will crowding Maximum Security, which may have forced the latter horse to change lanes.

A written commentary with the video claims that War of Will 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. 

Maximum Security’s disqualification marked the first time a foul had cost a winning horse the Kentucky Derby crown. 

Gary and Mary West, owners of Maximum Security, have said they 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 disqualification ruling on Monday, but the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission denied their request, saying that the decision by the Derby’s stewards was “final and not subject to appeal.”

Gary West has said he will file a lawsuit contesting the disqualification. 

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 to 17th place in a field of 19 horses after the racing officials ruled that the horse interfered with the progress of War of Will, who in turn interfered with Long Range Toddy and Bodexpress.

CORRECTION: This article previously misstated the date of the Kentucky Derby as May 3.

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