Luis Saez: Maximum Security jockey suspended for 15 race days

Luis Saez: Maximum Security jockey suspended for 15 race days
Jockey Luis Saez, who rode Maximum Security to victory in this year's Kentucky Derby, only to be disqualified, has been suspended for 15 race days.

(WAVE) - Jockey Luis Saez, who rode Maximum Security to victory in this year’s Kentucky Derby, only to be disqualified, has been suspended.

According to a stewards ruling posted on the website of the state’s Public Protection Cabinet, which oversees the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, Saez will be suspended for 15 race days from May 23-June 14.

The ruling was made due to Saez’s “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," the statement read.

Stewards for the Kentucky Horse racing Commission gave no specifics in their decision released Monday.

Attorneys for Saez will appeal the decision.

“The steward’s ruling is completely unsupported by facts,” Saez attorney Sean Deskins said.

Saez attorneys will likely seek a temporary stay of the suspension while the ruling is appealed. This would guarantee Saez’s availability to ride in the Belmont if Maximum Security enters that race.

The appeals process could take months and Saez would be allowed to appeal an unfavorable decision to circuit court.

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Following the race at Churchill Downs on May 4, a 20-minute inquiry resulted in Maximum Security’s disqualification, allowing second-place finisher Country House to be declared the winner.

Last week, Maximum Security’s owner, Gary West, appealed the ruling, but the KHRC denied it. West has said he may take the case to state or federal court.

Also last week, attorney Ann Oldfather, representing Saez, shared a seven-minute video that showed what she claimed to be interference by War of Will, who, running behind Maximum Security, appeared to make contact at the top of the stretch as the 19-horse pack turned for home.

Country House jockey Flavien Prat and Long Range Toddy jockey John Court claimed fouls after the race, prompting the stewards’ inquiry that resulted in the first-ever disqualification of a winner for an on-track violation in the race’s 145-year history.

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