where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2019-05-05 02:31:50  
Drama as Maximum Security DISQUALIFIED in the KY Derby

For 20 minutes, the greatest prize in Thoroughbred racing—winning the 145-year-old Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1)—was realized by longtime owners Gary and Mary West. And then a disqualification of their first-place finisher Maximum Security for interference left them still seeking their first Derby win.

After all the drama had unfolded at Churchill Downs, Gary West reacted with a smile and a chuckle, most gracious in defeat.

"That's horse racing," West said while crossing back across the track from the Derby winner's circle. "Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes you win and you lose all in the same race."

West said he watched the race from the suites for owners. He was on the presentation stand at the Kentucky Derby winner's circle for most—if not all—of the review. West compared it to the famous introduction to ABC's "Wide World of Sports"—the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat "all within a 10-minute period of time."

West said he was "extremely proud" of Maximum Security. "He crossed the finish line first, but, like I said, I have not had a good opportunity to really look at what the stewards looked at on the thing," he said. "He must have done something much worse than what I was able to see because that was a 23-minute (objection)—and I knew after 15-20 minutes, things weren't looking good. They usually don't take that long if there's nothing involved. So we'll just have to look at it and see."

West said it was the longest review in which he'd ever been involved. While he hadn't seen the replay, he said he initially doubted an appeal would be filed of the stewards' decision that left his first-place finisher in 17th. A little later, West said they'd have to review the video before deciding, and then trainer Jason Servis said the connections are leaning toward an appeal.

With the disqualification, the Wests are winless in five Derby starts. Their best finish also came Saturday, as juvenile champion Game Winner was elevated to fifth position after the disqualification.

West predicted Servis would take the disqualification worse than he did himself.

West's racing manager, Ben Glass, was more vocal when asked about the decision, saying Maximum Security didn't deserve to be disqualified and that all the horses were moving out.

"It was a completely bogus call by the stewards as far as I'm concerned—completely," he said, indicating that West would take it better than he did.

"He wouldn't talk this way," Glass said.

And West didn't.

"It's horse racing," West said. "Sometimes good things happen. Sometimes bad things happen. You know today something bad happened at least to us. Something good to somebody else. But not so good for us. But that just kind of goes with the game. We've been in it for 40 years now. We've had a lot of ups and downs. This is probably the worst down we've ever had, and there'll be more ups and there'll be more downs."

Like many owners, West looked to the future.

"So that's the story for today," he said. "We'll give 'em another shot next time."



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