Maximum Security's Kentucky Derby appeal denied

The long-shot appeal to overturn the result of the Kentucky Derby was rejected on the same day it was received by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Monday.

John L. Forgy, general counsel for the KHRC, informed the attorney representing Maximum Security owners Gary and Mary West on Monday afternoon that there is no basis for an appeal of the stewards' race ruling.

"Because the stewards' disqualification determination is not subject to appeal ... your request for an appeal is denied," Forgy explained.

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The appeal had been filed earlier Monday by Lexington-based attorney Barry Stilz on behalf of the Wests.

Maximum Security had won the 145th running of the Derby Saturday but was ruled to have interfered with two other horses during the race, War of Will and Long Range Toddy. Flavien Prat of Country House and Jon Court of Long Range Toddy filed a complaint with the stewards, who then deliberated for 22 minutes before taking down Maximum Security as the winner and replacing him with runner-up Country House. That touched off a firestorm of controversy that was further stoked by West, who declared that he would appeal the stewards' ruling even though KHRC rules provide no such avenue to overturn a ruling of a racing disqualification.

West's only other option now to contest the result of the Derby would seem to be via the courts. Given his combative stance on NBC's "Today Show" Monday, he could well be prepared to take that route.

West has said that Maximum Security will bypass the Preakness, thus depriving his horse of a shot at redemption and denying horse racing fans a juicy rematch with Country House.

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