While disgraced horse Maximum Security seeks justice in the courts following his disqualification in the Kentucky Derby for unruly racing, his jockey, a man named Luis Saez, has been suspended by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission for “failure to control his mount and make the proper effort to maintain a straight course.”
In the May 4 race, Maximum Security—who I keep wanting to refer to as “Security” as if that’s his surname—broke loose down the home stretch and finished first by a length and a half, but was disqualified soon after when video review determined he’d zig-zagged up the track in such a way that he interfered with the paths of other horses. This ruling was the first such disqualification in the long history of horse racing’s signature event, and resulted in first place being retroactively awarded to Country House, who finished second in the actual running. Some would describe this kind of anticlimactic result as more evidence that video replay is a scourge which must be eradicated across sports; others, arguing an opposing view, are weenies.
Because of the way the horse racing calendar is laid out, Saez’s suspension could prevent him from participating in the remaining legs of horse racing’s Triple Crown. Like his mount, he is seeking to have this ruling overturned. Per the Louisville Courier-Journal:
His lawyer, Ann Oldfather, said he will appeal immediately and expects to overturn “this unsupported and unsupportable suspension.”
She said she also will ask that the suspension be stayed pending the appeal.
If it is not, it would prohibit Saez from riding June 8 in the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park because other states, including New York and Maryland, honor suspensions issued in Kentucky, according to spokesmen for racing commissions in those two states.
Saez will be suspended May 23-27, May 30-31, June 1-2, June 6-9 and June 13-14.
Neither Maximum Security nor Country house will run in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, depriving the sport of both the chance of a Triple Crown winner and a gripping redemption story. By God, the PC Police have gone too far this time.