FILE PHOTO: May 4, 2019; Louisville, KY, USA; Flavien Prat aboard Country House (20) , Tyler Gaffalione aboard War of Will (1) , Luis Saez aboard Maximum Security (7) and John Velazquez aboard Code of Honor (13) race during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
(Reuters) – The owner of Maximum Security, the horse that finished first in the 145th Kentucky Derby on Saturday but was disqualified, said he would file an appeal with the state racing commission in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show on Monday.
Gary West, whose horse became the first in the history of the storied race to be disqualified for an on-track infraction, told NBC that he was “stunned, shocked and in total disbelief” when second place finisher Country House was declared the winner.
“This is something that is 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,” West said of his decision to file an appeal.
After a 20-minute video review, officials found that Maximum Security, who was a 4-1 favorite to win the 1-1/4 mile race, was guilty of a contact foul when he appeared to take a wide turn and impede other horses in the home stretch of the race. The disqualification ruling handed the win to Country House, which had been a 65-1 long shot.
Reporting by Gabriella Borter; Editing by Bill Trott