The Kentucky stewards have suspended jockey Luis Saez 15 days for failure to control his mount and make the proper effort to maintain a straight course in his ride aboard Maximum Security in the Kentucky Derby. Maximum Security was the first horse who finished first ever disqualified for interference in the Derby. He was placed 17th for interfering with War of Will, Long Range Toddy and Bodexpress. The decision by the stewards took about 22 minutes and caused a racing controversy that is still being discussed and debated with experienced horsemen and race-trackers divided on both sides of the fence.
The ruling states the suspension is for;
“failure to control his mount and make the proper effort to maintain a straight course thereby causing interference with several rivals that resulted in the disqualification of his mount.”
Considering Saez corrected Maximum Security almost immediately after the colt bore out from what appeared to be crowd noise on the turn for home, the ruling does not appear consistent with what occurred on the racetrack nor what can be expected of a rider when something both unintentional and unexpected occurs.
Luis Saez was represented at the May 10 film review by Louisville, Ky. attorney Ann Oldfather. Oldfather presented a video purported to show other riders either caused or contributed to the incident in question. The stewards have made no comment or reference to that video, but based on the ruling they do not agree, if they viewed it.
The stewards could have just disqualified Saez without levying any suspension which is what most in the sport expected to happen.
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