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Maximum Security jockey appeals suspension for Derby disqualification

Luis Saez was suspended for 15 racing days for failing to control his horse in the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Luis Saerz is appealing the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission's decision to suspend him for 15 racing days, saying the suspension was "unduly harsh" and not custom practice.

According to his appeal, Saerz said the stewards' decision to suspend him after Maximum Security's Kentucky Derby disqualification should be rendered void because it was unconstitutional and lacked substantial evidence.

The commission said Saerz failed to control his horse and make the appropriate effort to maintain a straight path, causing interference with several race competitors. 

Saerz's appeal argues that neither the replay of the race nor any interviews could determine that he failed to control the horse on purpose or out of carelessness.

"The Stewards did not find that Luis Saez acted intentionally. They did not find that he was careless or incompetent," his lawyers said. "The other jockeys involved expressed the opinions that Luis Saez did not do anything on purpose, carelessly or incompetently."

Lawyers also requested a stay pending appeal because Saez is already committed to riding at Belmont Park within the 15 days.

"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," Saez's request said.

Saez was suspended for the following days: May 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30, 31 and June 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14. 

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