Gary and Mary West did not waste much time filing their appeal of the disqualification of Maximum Security. Subsequent to that appeal being denied the day it was files, the Wests did not hesitate to file a lawsuit.
The lawsuit is structured very craftily. It does not focus solely on the decision, but the manor in which the objection or inquiry was handled and how the decision was arrived at. This makes for some interesting and complicated litigation. You can agree with the disqualification but still find for the Wests the way the suit was drafted.
“As a result of the disqualification, plaintiffs, the trainer, and the jockey of Maximum Security were denied any part of the $1,860,000 share of the Derby purse as well as a professional accomplishment that any horseman would cherish for life, plus the very substantial value that a Kentucky Derby winner has as a stallion,” according to the Wests’ statement. “The winner’s share of the Derby purse was paid to the connections of Country House, even though Prat’s objection was meritless, indeed frivolous. Country House’s connections received approximately $1.26 million more for being elevated to first than they would have received for second.”
The lawsuit requests;
“a reversal of the decision disqualifying Maximum Security and reinstatement of the original order of finish confirming that Maximum Security is the official winner of the Derby who remains undefeated.”
The suit also highlights the disqualification of Maximum Security affected wagers estimated to be worth more than $100 million in winnings. A couple hours after the Kentucky Derby, TwinSpires.com online wagering platform and other Churchill Downs-related companies announced they would reimburse winning wagers on Maximum Security up to $10.
“Which can be viewed as an admission that Churchill itself disagreed with the stewards’ decision,” the Wests’ statement read. “Those bettors who did not wager through Churchill-related companies were left with no financial recourse, notwithstanding that Churchill received significant revenue from all of the outlets to whom they sent their signal.”
The suit also points out the stewards indicated they interviewed all jockeys involved but it was later learned Tyler Gaffalione the rider of War of Will who was bothered most of all was not interviewed. Chris Landeros who rode Bodemeister, another horse bothered was also not interested.
This litigation could prove troublesome to resolve amicably. The damages aspect is huge making a compromise difficult and costly.
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