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Maximum Security owners file suit for Derby disqualification

Kentucky Derby

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - MAY 04: Country House #20, ridden by jockey Flavien Prat, crosses the finish line to win the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 04, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. Country House #20 was declared the winner after a stewards review disqualified Maximum Security #7. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The owners of Maximum Security have sued the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and race stewards, seeking to reverse the horse’s disqualification for interference as Kentucky Derby winner and restoration of purse money.

The lawsuit filed by Gary and Mary West on Tuesday in U.S. District Court says that stewards relied on insubstantial evidence and questioned a “bizarre and unconstitutional” process before and after the disqualification. Maximum Security crossed the finish line first on May 4 before being disqualified and dropping to 17th for impeding the paths of several horses. Runner-up Country House, a 65-1 shot, was elevated to first.

The KHRC last week denied an appeal of the disqualification and said that the stewards’ decision was not subject to appeal. The lawsuit says that due process was denied along with the $1.86 million winner’s share of the $3 million purse, including $186,000 each for trainer Jason Servis and jockey Luis Saez.