LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – As expected, Maximum Security jockey Luis Saez has appealed the 15-day suspension handed down by stewards for his ride in the Kentucky Derby.
In handing down that suspension on Sunday, stewards cited Saez for "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."
It was the first on-track disqualification of a Kentucky Derby winner in the race's 145-year history.
The suspension for Saez was more than the norm. Generally, suspensions run three days. No explanation was given for why Saez's was greater in length.
In his appeal, Saez says that stewards made no determination as to intent, carelessness or incompetence on his part. The appeal notes that stewards, after the Derby, received a claim of foul against the jockey of War of Will, who wasn't interviewed the day of the race, and whose ride in the race was not addressed.
"Had they done so," the appeal states, "in all likelihood the stewards would have determined that Luis Saez made a remarkable effort to steady his horse and prevent the potential for calamity initiated by another rider."
Not only does Saez appeal the ruling, but he is disputing the length of the suspension.
"Even had the stewards' ruling been correct and correctly reached," the appeal states, "a suspension of fifteen (15) racing days is unduly harsh, and not supportable by facts and law, nor by customary practice."
The appeal also asks for a stay of the suspension while the appeal is considered. If upheld, the 15-day suspension would prevent Saez from racing in the Belmont Stakes
"In all likelihood, Luis Saez will have as many as 4 to 5 rides on every one of the days for the ordered suspension," the appeal states. "The loss of the opportunity to ride on these racing dates will lead to a substantial loss of income for Luis Saez, causing financial hardship which will be avoided if the appeal is successful."
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