West Issues Challenge to Connections of Horses Involved in Derby Incident


Gary West | Coglianese

Gary West is offering up $20 million of his own money to the owners of Country House (Lookin at Lucky), War of Will (War Front), Long Range Toddy (Take Charge Indy) and Bodexpress (Bodemeister), all of whom were involved in the incident that resulted in the DQ in the GI Kentucky Derby, if any of those horses finish ahead of Maximum Security (New Year's Day) the next time any of them race against him through Dec. 31, 2019.

West said he believes his offer of $5 million apiece to each of those four horses would result in record viewership and would generate worldwide interest. If all five horses meet in the same race it would potentially create the most lucrative race in the world.

West said his offer and the results of this “match race within a race” have no bearing and nothing to do with his horse's disqualification in the Kentucky Derby. West's intention with this opportunity and challenge is simply to generate additional interest in the sport.

There are no restrictions as to the type of race, what racetrack it is held at or the distance or track surface. 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.

No horse has to win the race; the offer is simply based on the head-to-head result with Maximum Security.

“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.

In return, West is asking the owners of the other four horses to give him $5 million apiece 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.

West said if any of the other owners are not as confident in their horses as he is in Maximum Security, he would extend the same terms and conditions for the connections to put up $1.86 million instead. That figure is the exact winner's share of the Kentucky Derby.

West will donate 100% Maximum Security's winnings from this challenge (if any, and up to $20 million) to the Permanently Disabled Jockey's Fund. If no owners accept the challenge, West pledges to donate 10% of Maximum Security's future lifetime racing earnings to the Permanently Disabled Jockey's Fund.

“Most experts agree that Maximum Security was the best horse in the Kentucky Derby,” West said. “I don't care to discuss the controversy surrounding the events of the race and the disqualification of my horse at this time, but I firmly believe I have the best 3-year-old in the country and I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is.”


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