Complaint filed in Federal Court over the disqualification of Maximum Security from the Kentucky Derby

Above link is to the complaint. Case name is Gary and Mary West v Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, (and numerous individual defendants, consisting of the track stewards and members of the commission). The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Frankfort Division.

They are bringing a State law action in federal court, invoking the court’s diversity jurisdiction, as plaintiffs are residents of California and defendants are residents of Kentucky. Additionally they are bringing a federal action under 42 USC 1983 (Civil Action for Deprivation of Rights under color of law).

They are asking for normal briefing and oral arguments and the case will likely be decided by summary judgement once that all occurs.

What authority does the court have over a private race

The races are run under State regulation and both the Horse Racing Commission and the stewards are public officials.

Yeah, I don’t see how the courts can claim any jurisdiction over a sporting event.

Imagine the precedent it would set if they did?

Answering that in two words:




It was a borderline call. What are you gonna do.