Jockey Luis Saez suspended for 15 days over Derby infraction

Today, it was announced that jockey Luis Saez was suspended for 15 days for failure to control his mount and to make the proper effort to maintain a straight course in the Kentucky Derby on board Maximum Security.

So I suggest, let’s nail Luis Saez to a cross like Pontius Pilate did Jesus just to make Churchill Downs Race Stewards look good after a extremely unpopular and volatile disqualification. Let’s rub salt in the wound. Let’s make Saez feel 4 feet tall.

And while we are at it, let’s strike him with the new whip that jockeys used in this race (including Luis Saez), the 360 GT (Gentle Touch) that has been equated to a balloon on a stick by some jockeys which may have been part of the problem.

Have any of these race stewards ever raced a 3-year-old in the sloppy, muddy conditions? Have they ever raced a horse, an immature horse, in a race of this magnitude with 150,000 screaming fans? So these Race Stewards could do better controlling an inexperienced 3-year-old in these volatile and wild conditions?

I think not.

And it’s not OK for the race leader to change lanes but extremely OK for the horses chasing him? A dangerous move? But if other horses behind him are changing lanes also?

Double Standards. See the link below and perhaps you see why Maximum Security changed lanes.

Horses and jockeys don’t have Rear View mirrors. And in the heat of the moment, running to the wire, it’s not the leader’s responsibility to keep up with chasers who are changing lanes.

This is still an extremely unpopular decision with legions of fans and the majority of fans on social media. And something that Race Stewards are still supposed to factor in when making theses decisions–even if a foul has occurred–did it adversely alter the outcome of the race?

Note that War of Will, the horse most affected by the lugging out of Maximum Security, his trainer/owner did not claim foul. Ever wonder why? I know why, I have calculated what it cost his horse on the race track and it wasn’t enough to put War of Will into the money. Neither did it severely affect Long Range Toddy, whose owner claimed foul and finished 17th.

Was a foul was committed? Yes. But it is the Race Stewards’ decision to decide if it affected and severely altered the race outcome. No, it didn’t. Having to “Check-Up” a bit doesn’t mean that your horse should finish 7th and 17th for you to have a legitimate claim.

A “length” is horse racing 8 feet on the track and somehwere between 0.16 to 0.2 seconds. A slight hesitation with a clear path after that is worth about a 1/2 length.

Also note that War of Will was about even with Maximum Security after the proposed foul coming onto the straight and he lost ground and finished 4 1/2 lengths behind.

Country House was least affected, only had to alter his course slightly which is seen in many race replays. What did that cost him? 1/4th length and he still finished 1 3/4th lengths behind. But yet he is the beneficiary and the 2019 Kentucky Derby Champion due to a very poor decision.

All in all, the 2019 Kentucky Derby should be viewed as a complete farce. Enough “horse people” have convinced me of the same. The video linked above shows evidence that Maximum Security was clipped at least once. The public deserves better. And this fledgling, declining sport needs more followers, not less.

I love this sport and want it to grow. However, with decisions like this coupled with so many other negative things going on in the sport (a plethora of horse deaths at Santa Anita Park), I am not sure I can.

To save the sport of horse racing seems like a job for Jesus.



  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. I was with some very casual fans in Vegas and they just looked at me and said, “What, we didn’t win? I don’t understand.” Sheer exhilaration and enthusiasm wiped from there faces. Mine too.

    Liked by 1 person

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