K Derby owner challenge

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K Derby owner challenge

MAXIMUM SECURITY, pink, in the turn

The owner of Maximum Security wants a rematch. The horse finished first at the Kentucky Derby earlier this month but was famously placed last for causing interference to other runners –and now owner Gary West is offering US$5 million to each of the owners of four of its rivals.

West is extending the offer to Long Range Toddy, War Of Will, Bodexpress and eventual Derby winner Country House, bringing the total to $20 million.

The horses don’t even need to win to collect the money — they just need to beat Maximum Security before the end of the year.

“Most experts agree that Maximum Security was the best horse in the Kentucky Derby,” West said in a statement. “I don’t care to discuss the controversy surrounding the events of the race and the disqualification of my horse at this time, but I firmly believe I have the best three-year-old in the country and I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is.”

West, of course, wants the owners of the four horses to pay him the same amount if Maximum Security comes out on top. He says he would donate his winnings to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

According to West, if none of the owners are willing to take on his challenge, he will still donate 10% of Maximum Security’s future lifetime racing earnings to the non-profit organisation, which provides financial aid to jockeys who experienced severe injuries while competing as well as their families.

“I am doing this because I think it would be good for racing and a unique opportunity to bring more people into racing because of the elevated interest this would bring to the sport,” he said.

Maximum Security was unanimously demoted by stipendiary stewards after crossing the line first on 4 May 4 at Churchill Downs racecourse in Kentucky. The horse moved outwards coming out of the final turn, disrupting the strides of several horses. Long Range Toddy appeared worst affected, but Country House and War Of Will also had to take emergency evasive action.

Country House finished in second, but was later given the $3-million first prize. It was the first time in the race’s 145-year history that an objection led to the winner being stripped of the title.

War Of Will went on to win the Preakness Stakes – the second leg of the US’s Triple Crown – on Saturday 18 May. The two main Kentucky Derby protagonists did not run in that race at Pimlico.

West and his wife Mary, who co-owns Maximum Security, filed an appeal with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission over the Derby result. But the commission rejected the appeal, confirming Country House’s place in the record books. – www.cbsnews.com

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