Horse Racing: 145th Kentucky Derby

Chris Landeros aboard Bodexpress, left, races Luis Saez aboard Maximum Security (right) during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday.


The 145th Kentucky Derby was an embarrassment to the sport of horse racing.

Those who watched the race know for certain that Maximum Security was the clear winner by a length and a half.

The colt led the Derby from start to finish on a wet and sloppy track, after a masterful ride by jockey Luis Saez.

Maximum Security made a wide turn in the final turn toward the home stretch.That’s understandable due to the conditions of the racing surface.

This is not uncommon in horse racing, and on any other track, on any other day, this regrettable post-race decision that stripped Maximum Security of his rightful win never would have occurred.

The horse most affected, War of Will, was directly behind Maximum Security and nearly made contact with Maximum Security. His owner, Gary Barber, and jockey, Tyler Gaffalione, did not file any complaint after the race.

If anyone had the right to file a grievance, it was certainly them.

Instead, a horse who was wide outside of Maximum Security and was not in the least bit affected, Country House; that horse’s jockey, Flavien Prat, and owner, Mrs. J.V.Shields, Jr. filed a grievance which resulted in the travesty that we all watched unfold after Maximum Security had clearly won.

This was a bush league move. It comes across like a publicity stunt to draw attention to the sport of horse racing.

The boos that rained down from the grandstand at Churchill Downs were the evidence that Maximum Security was and is the true Kentucky Derby winner.

The owners of Maximum Security Mary and Gary West, are heartbroken. Winning the Kentucky Derby is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

For all of their effort, they go home with nothing; nothing but the knowledge that their horse was the actual Derby winner.

The Triple Crown Committee, The Association of Racing Commissioners, and Churchill Downs Inc. should all be ashamed.

The decision to strip Maximum Security of his rightful win was an absolute disgrace.

William T. Oakes


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