Six months after the 2019 Kentucky Derby ended in the most controversial of fashions, the owners of Maximum Security are still finding ways to lose the race.
U.S. District Judge Karen E. Caldwell granted a motion from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission — which oversees the iconic race — to dismiss a suit filed by Gary and Mary West, the horse’s owners, and uphold the race’s final result, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
The Wests reportedly can still appeal the decision, though the judge’s blunt assessment of the situation doesn’t make you positive about their chances:
"Kentucky's regulations make clear that the disqualification is not subject to judicial review," Caldwell wrote. "Further, the disqualification procedure does not implicate an interest protected under the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution."
Maximum Security infamously lost the 145th running of the Derby despite being the first horse to cross the finish line first, the first such loss in the race’s lengthy history.
After the race, the jockeys of two different horses filed objections, arguing that Maximum Security improperly impeded its opponents by veering into the path of another horse. After an extended review, a three-steward panel ruled to uphold the objections, pushing Maximum Security to 17th place and naming Country House as the new winner.
Maximum Security’s owners were predictably livid. They soon filed an appeal before the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission that was quickly denied. They pulled him out of the Preakness Stakes. They issued a $5 million challenge to the owners of each of the impeded horse to beat Maximum Security in another race, which didn’t look great when their own horse lost his next race.
Finally, they opted to take the stewards to court, arguing that their horse’s disqualification was unconstitutional. That lawsuit has now failed, barring an appeal.
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