Archives for May 6, 2019

Maximum Security owner will appeal Kentucky Derby disqualification

Longtime Owner Gary West Devastated

In an interview on NBC’s “Today” show, West, speaking well before daybreak from his Rancho Santa Fe home, took strong issue with the decision and the race track.

“It was literally like the old TV show [‘Wide World of Sports’], the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat all within a 22-minute period of time,” West said. “Winning it was probably the most euphoric thing [wife] Mary and I have ever had in our lives and then disappointment when they took him down for the first time in history. We were stunned, shocked and in total disbelief. It had never been done before.”

West’s strongest words were directed at Churchill Downs. The Kentucky Derby is the only major U.S. race that allows 20 starters. (Because of a scratch, there were 19 on Saturday.) Most major races in the U.S. are capped at 14 starters, either because of the width of the track or for the manageability of the race.

“Churchill Downs, because they are a greedy organization, [doesn’t run] 14 [in the Kentucky Derby] like you have in the Kentucky Oaks, Breeders Cup and just about every other race in America,” West said. “Just because they can make more money, they are willing to risk horses’ lives and peoples’ lives to do that. I’m not a fan of that. I think they ought to have 14 like every other race.”

Kentucky Horse Tracks Paid For Their Own Video Gambling Regulations

When gamblers bet at the chirping, neon-glowing machines that stretch across Kentucky’s gambling parlors, they depend on a state commission to ensure they’re winning — or losing — fair and square.

The commission that oversees gambling depends on a consulting firm for advice about ensuring these systems, known as “historical horse racing” terminals, run legally and accurately. But when it comes to testing machines, records show the state’s regulatory commission let the tracks themselves fund and oversee the consultant’s work.

From 2012 to 2017, a consultant hired by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission tested gaming machines at three gambling parlors associated with race tracks. But the horse racing commission was largely out of the loop from there: Keeneland, Ellis Park, Kentucky Downs and two machine manufacturers paid more than $845,000 for testing services with virtually no direct oversight from the horse racing commission, according to a review by the office of the Auditor of Public Accounts.

The commission didn’t even have copies of the invoices from New Jersey-based Gaming Laboratories International until it gathered them for the auditor.

The horse racing commission also asked the tracks to pay about $26,000 for the cost of the consultant’s work drafting new regulatory restrictions. The auditor’s office said he couldn’t find any law that allowed that arrangement…