Gary and Mary West, owners of Maximum Security, filed a lawsuit late Tuesday for their horse's disqualification after crossing the finish line at the 145th Kentucky Derby earlier this month.
The Wests sued the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, its members, staff and stewards who disqualified Maximum Security for incidents. The federal lawsuit was filed with the US District Court in Frankfort, Kentucky, seeking to reverse the decision and restore the original order.
Country House, the horse that originally finished second, was declared the winner.
The lawsuit calls the disqualification process "bizarre and unconstitutional". The Wests are also trying to redistribute the derby pocket money to them, the jockey Luis Saez and the coach John Servis. The winner's share was $ 1.86 million.
The lack of a complaints procedure denied them the proper procedural rights, according to the owners. They had filed a complaint with the race commission on 6 May and requested a hearing by the full commission, which was rejected.
Earlier this week, Saez was suspended for 15 days of racing for "failure to take control" and strive to maintain a straight course, thereby disrupting several rivals. "The jockey is expected to appeal.
Kentucky Horse Racing Commission spokeswoman Susan West declined to comment on the lawsuit.