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The 145th Kentucky Derby (G1) made history for all the wrong reasons. 9-2 second choice Maximum Security led almost gate to wire to finish 1 3/4 lengths ahead of 65-1 second-longest shot Country House. However, because Maximum Security veered out from the 5/16 to the 1/4 pole, causing eventual Preakness winner War of Will to check and causing a chain reaction that also collected Long Range Toddy and Bodexpress, he was disqualified (after a 22 minute long review of the video by the 3 stewards) and placed 17th behind Long Range Toddy. He is the only horse to be disqualified from the win on race day in the Derby's 145 year history (1968 first place finisher Dancer's Image was disqualified to last place due to a drug positive, moving runner-up Forward Pass to first place as the official winner).
Photos courtesy Nancy Rokos
Maximum Security in the paddock with trainer Jason Servis (right) with the horses for the fifth race.
Maximum Security parades in the walking ring for his fans led by assistant trainer, Jose Hernandez, and groom, Milton Hernandez.
Trainer Jason Servis autographed programs for the fans.
Servis said, "It's great to see this. Like I've told a few people, it eases the pain a little bit. I never wished I did social media, and I don't. But I kind of wish now I did because everyone is telling me there are a lot of people supporting him. I guess it's because he ran for $16,000 and he's a Cinderella story. He's 5-for-5 in my eyes. He's coming back. I'll probably do something with him next week as far as a breeze. I think he's coming around."
Along with the lawsuit, Gary West issued a challenge to the owners of Country House, War of Will, Long Range Toddy, and Bodexpress where he would put up $20 million of his own money if their owners each put up $5 million of theirs, in a sort of "match race within a race". The challenge reads, "West believes his offer of $5 million apiece to each of those four horses – simply for finishing ahead of Maximum Security, in any race anywhere this year – would result in record viewership and would generate worldwide interest. If all five horses meet in the same race it would potentially create the most lucrative race in the world. West said that should his horse win the challenge, his winnigs (up to $20 million) will go to the Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund.
Wednesday May 22nd at Monmouth Park, Maximum Security had his first official workout since the Kentucky Derby and he looks full of beans and ready to go. He followed his usual routine of slow breezes went an easy 4 furlongs in 53 4/5, which was 20th of 21 at the distance that morning. Trainer Jason Servis said, "We haven't decided where he is going to run yet, but he's starting to come around."
Sunday, owner Gary West said his next major race will likely be the Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park on July 20, but he could prep for the race in the Pegasus Stakes on June 16, also at Monmouth. Trainer Jason Servis did not think he had enough time to recover from the Kentucky Derby to be ready for the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 8.
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