Derby Objection – It’s Final

Arbitrary and capricious it may have been...

A request on Monday to appeal the stewards’ decision disqualifying Maximum Security from victory in the Gr1 Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs has been denied by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

The Bloodhorse Daily reports that the appeal request sent to KHRC executive director Marc Guilfoil was made by Lexington attorney Barry Stilz on behalf of Maximum Security’s owners Gary and Mary West and requested an appeal be heard by the full commission because the stewards actions were, “arbitrary and capricious and did not comply with applicable administrative regulations. Their determination to disqualify Maximum Security is not supported by substantial evidence.”

The racing regulator denied the appeal hours later, in a letter from KHRC general counsel John Forgy

to Stilz. The letter said the appeal was denied because Kentucky regulations do not allow appeals of stewards’ decisions. “Because the stewards’ disqualification determination is not subject to appeal and for the reasons set forth below, your request for an appeal is denied,” the letter from Forgy said. “Consequently, your request for stay pending appeal is moot because the law does not provide for an appeal.”

The appeal denial letter noted that as a license condition for racing in Kentucky, every licensee agrees to abide by the commission’s rules and regulations. It cited the rule that “stewards findings of fact and determination shall be final and not be subject to appeal.”

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