Maximum Security, Country House noncommittal on Preakness

Maximum Security, Country House noncommittal on Preakness

Country House trainer Bill Mott said the colt was in good shape after the Derby but remained noncommittal about the 1 1/8-mile Preakness, which is shorter than the Derby.

"No, we're not going to run in the Preakness", West said Monday on NBC's Today morning show.

"I don't know if anyone else in the country bet $4 to win that super", Shelton said.

Maximum Security had won the 145th running of the Derby Saturday but was ruled to have interfered with two other horses during the race, War of Will and Long Range Toddy.

Country House is this year's contender to win thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown - but only after the horse that crossed the wire first in Saturday's Kentucky Derby, Maximum Security, was disqualified.

"We are not going to run the Preakness", West said.

20 horses ran in this year's Kentucky Derby compared to the 14 that run in most races on the track, including the Kentucky Oats.

The decision crowned second place horse, Country House, the official victor.

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When asked for comment, Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery said in an email to Reuters that the infraction by Maximum Security had nothing to do with the number of horses in the race and that there is no evidence to the contrary.

It was the first time a Derby victor was disqualified because of a foul on the track. "But the Triple Crown is not a normal situation".

West said what he found "mystifying" about the decision was, if the foul was egregious enough to merit stripping the victory from Maximum Security, why the stewards hadn't launched an inquiry on their own as soon as the race ended.

When pressed on the letter of the law, West did not back down and reiterated his opposition to Maximum Security's disqualification.

Maximum Security's part-owner Gary West slammed the KHRC and stewards in an interview on the NBC network. First-place finisher Dancer's Image tested positive for a prohibited medication, and Kentucky state racing officials ordered the purse money to be redistributed.

The reason the decision took so long, and why there's still so much consternation about it now, is that the Derby isn't a normal horse race. "It was a rough and tumble race on a wet and sloppy track, actually, a handsome thing to watch".

We said we'd well stay here til 11, 12:00 at night-whatever you want. It would mark his fourth race in eight weeks if he runs. Maximum Security moves over drastically, covering three lanes, and directly impedes at least two other horses and forces at least one other jockey to slow down to avoid what could have been a unsafe entanglement.

"Both horses are very well-suited for the Belmont, but now we got to rethink that, and certainly probably for Country House".

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