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Derby officials say Maximum Security broke interference rule

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Luis Saez riding Maximum Security, second from right, goes around turn four with Flavien Prat riding Country House, left, Tyler Gaffalione riding War of Will and John Velazquez riding Code of Honor, right, during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 4, 2019, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/John […]

Officials cited Maximum Security for interference and the colt became the first Kentucky Derby winner to be disqualified for violating a state regulation that penalizes horses for impeding the path of another in a race.

Stewards, who supervise the outcome of horse races, referenced Section 12 of rule 810 KAR1:016. The rule calls for disqualification if “a leading horse or any other horse in a race swerves or is ridden to either side so as to interfere with, intimidate, or impede any other horse or jockey.” Stewards determined that Maximum Security interfered with the path of several horses as the field of 19 rounded the final turn in Saturday’s race.

Maximum Security crossed the line first by 1 3/4 lengths before two jockeys filed objections against the horse for interference. Stewards took 22 minutes before overturning the finish and elevating Country House to first while dropping Maximum Security to 17th.

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Kentucky Horse Racing Commission chief steward Barbara Borden said she and two other stewards interviewed riders and observed several video angles of the incident and determined that Maximum Security impeded the progress of War of Will and interfered with Long Range Toddy and Country House.

Maximum Security co-owner Gary West strongly disagreed with the ruling and said he is considering several options, which could include appealing the stewards’ decision.

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