Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Suspends Maximum Security Jockey Luis Saez for 15 Racing Days Over Race Interference

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has suspend Maximum Security jockey Luis Saez for 15 racing days after determining he interfered with other riders in the controversial 2019 Kentucky Derby. 

One day after race stewards met with the jockeys involved in the inquiry that led to Maximum Security’s disqualification, the commission announced that Saez will be suspended for 15 racing days.

The KHRC cited “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,” in its ruling against Saez.

No other jockeys in last weekend’s Kentucky Derby will face punishment, according to KHRC.

Unlike the disqualification of a horse, disciplinary sanctions against a jockey can be appealed to the commission and the courts.

Attorneys for Saez said they intend to appeal his suspension.

According to KHRC’s website, a “request for stay pending appeal” must be filed with 10 days of the stewards’ ruling.

Karen Murphy, an attorney for Maximum Security owners Gary and Mary West, told the Courier Journal the decision is wrong and unfair to Saez.

“It doesn’t sound like a lot to people when you say 15 days, but (racing) is all (jockeys) do,” Murphy said. “(Saez) didn’t do anything wrong.”

The commission can fine or suspend jockeys for intentional wrongdoing or careless riding. Stewards also can require education for the jockeys.

Maximum Security crossed the finish line first in the 145th Kentucky Derby but was eventually disqualified and dropped to 17th when stewards ruled he drifted out of his running lane and impeded the progress of other horses in the race.

After the race, chief steward Barbara Borden said Maximum Security was disqualified for interfering with the progress of War of Will, who in turn interfered with Long Range Toddy and Bodexpress.

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SOURCE: Louisville Courier Journal, Billy Kobin