Casse: If Anything, Maximum Security Bothered War Of Will Not Once, But Twice

by | 05.08.2019 | 3:48pm
Maximum Security and jockey Luis Saez cross the finish line ahead of Flavien Prat and Country House, but Maximum Security was disqualified and placed 17th

Controversy continues to swirl around the disqualification of Maximum Security from the winning spot of the 2019 Kentucky Derby. On Tuesday, Maximum Security owner Gary West announced he would bring a lawsuit contending War Of Will was the root cause of the interference in the latter part of the Kentucky Derby.

War Of Will trainer Mark Casse spoke to the Lexington Herald-Leader Tuesday evening, opining that if anything, Maximum Security interfered with his horse not once but twice. Casse walked through NBC footage of the race second by second through the final turn and points out an earlier, less impactful drift from Maximum Security before the larger event, which caused several horses to take back and ultimately caused a chain reaction that reached Country House.

“Mr. West is distraught and I understand that. But in no way did War of Will have anything to do with the actions of Maximum Security,” Casse told the Herald-Leader. “Not only did Maximum Security bother us in the big event, he herded everybody going into the half-mile pole and caused interference there as well.”

War of Will owner Gary Barber released a statement to media late Tuesday addressing the allegations from West:

“It has recently been brought to my attention that Mr. Gary West stated on Fox News that my horse War of Will caused the infraction in the Derby. I categorically deny this false accusation. The video evidence irrefutably shows that his horse, Maximum Security, caused a major infraction that almost led to a catastrophe and in doing so, denied my horse and others of a better placing.
“The facts are Maximum Security is a great horse that crossed the line first in the Derby, but unfortunately committed a major infraction that denied him a Derby victory. I empathize with Mr. West on this fact and feel the pain of losing out, but Mr. West's horse, and not mine nor my jockey Tyler Gaffalione, denied him the Derby victory and it is wrong for him to deflect blame anywhere else.
“I am very disappointed that War of Will was deprived of the opportunity to show his best because of Maximum Security, but I painfully accepted that as part of horse racing. Thankfully, I am glad both War of Will and Maximum Security survived the day unscathed and will be good to race another day!”


Read more at the Lexington Herald-Leader

The following notes on the route taken by Maximum Security and screen shots of NBC footage of the Kentucky Derby from about the half-mile pole to the top of the stretch were supplied by trainer Mark Casse, trainer of War of Will

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