MAXIMUM Challenge

The Kentucky Derby was nearly four weeks ago, the Preakness Stakes was just last Saturday, most of the horse racing community has moved on.  Not Gary West, owner of the infamous, disqualified KD runner MAXIMUM SECURITY.

West is offering a $20 million reward to the owners of COUNTRY HOUSE, WAR OF WILL, LONG RANGE TODDY and BODEXPRESSif any of those horses finish ahead of  his MAXIMUM SECURITY the next time any of them race against the colt.  The offer is apparently good through the end of this calendar year. 

West will give the owners of those four horses $5 million each if they finish ahead of his horse the next time they meet in a race.  Kentucky stewards determined each of the latter three horses were fouled by MAXIMUM SECURITY in the Derby.

The Friday prior to the Preakness a press release was issued stating; “Mr. West believes his offer of $5 million apiece to each of those four horses—simply for finishing ahead of MAXIMUM SECURITY—would result in record viewership and would generate worldwide interest.”  It went on to say; “If all five horses meet in the same race, it would potentially create the most lucrative race in the world.”

The release stated the $20 million would come from West, who is putting up “his own money.”  In return, West is asking the owners of the other four horses to give him $5 million each if MAXIMUM SECURITY finishes ahead of their horse in the official chart. 

“The owners of any or all of the other four horses wishing to participate would be required to put their $5 million in an escrow account, as West will do immediately for up to $20 million,” the release stated.

There are no restrictions as to the type of race, what racetrack it is held at, or the distance or track surface over which the race is contested.  The offer is valid only for the next time MAXIMUM SECURITY meets any of the aforementioned horses in a race, whether it is in the same race or in four separate races.

“I am doing this because I think it would be good for racing and a unique opportunity to bring more people into racing because of the elevated interest this would bring to the sport,” West said.

According to the release, no horse has to Win the race; the offer is simply based on the head-to-head result with MAXIMUM SECURITY.  The release stated one possible race for the 3-year-olds to converge again is the July 20 Haskell Invitational Stakes at Monmouth Park, where the horse is currently stabled, but the offer is open to any race at any track the next time he faces any or all of the other four horses.

West will donate 100 percent of MAXIMUM SECURITY‘s Winnings from this challenge (if any, and up to $20 million) to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.  If no owners accept the challenge, West pledges to donate 10 percent of the colts future lifetime racing earnings to the same fund.

While this final gesture is both a grand and noble one by West, the Daily Racing Blog feels it’s time to get over it and move forward.  DQ’s happen in horse racing every day.  Granted, not on such a global stage, but it’s time to recognize the wrong-doing Mr. West and own it.  Race MAXIMUM SECURITY again- soon, quit grandstanding, and temper you maximum ego.

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