The owners of Maximum Security – who finished first but was later disqualified from the Kentucky Derby over the weekend – continued to fight back on Thursday, saying that as they consider their legal options, they feel a fair hearing would ultimately lead to their horse being reinstated as the victor.
Maximum Security crossed the finish line first amid sloppy conditions at Churchill Downs on Saturday. However, after two jockeys filed objections, the race stewards determined that Maximum Security had impeded the paths of several horses in the race and disqualified him. Country House was then declared the winner.
Owners Gary and Mary West are adamant that video of Saturday’s race shows that Maximum Security not only won the competition but that he also “never should have been disqualified,” they said in a statement released by attorney D. Barry Stilz.
The pair noted that on Monday, they filed a “’protest, objection and appeal letter’ with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission,” which was denied.
Stilz previously told Fox News that the appeal was filed because the “rules were not appropriately applied.” The horse’s disqualification was “not subject to appeal,” the commission said.
“In denying our request, counsel for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission reminded us that it was a ‘privilege’ to participate in horse racing in Kentucky,” their statement on Thursday said. “And we agree -- however, that ‘privilege’ comes with an obligation for fair, full and transparent treatment by the Commission of its licensees. That did not occur here.”
But despite their appeal denial, the owners appeared confident on Thursday.
“We believe that with a just and proper hearing of our case MAXIMUM SECURITY will be restored as the rightful winner of this year's Kentucky Derby,” they said in the statement.
Fox News’ Matt Finn, Ryan Gaydos and Samuel Chamberlain contributed to this report.