OCEANPORT, N.J. — In an unprecedented move in thoroughbred racing, Gary West is offering up $20 million of his own money to the owners of Country House, War of Will, Long Range Toddy and Bodexpress if any of those horses finish ahead of Maximum Security the next time any of them race against him through the end of this year.
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.
If all five horses meet in the same race it would potentially create the most lucrative race in the world.
West, the owner of Maximum Security, the only horse to be disqualified from first place in 145 runnings of the Kentucky Derby, 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. He is willing to stipulate to that publicly, contending that the outcome of the Kentucky Derby is a completely separate issue and event.
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.
“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.
West will give the owners of Country House (the elevated winner of the Kentucky Derby); War of Will (placed 7th after finishing 8th); Bodexpress (placed 13th after finishing 14th) and Long Range Toddy (placed 16th after finishing 17th) $5 million apiece if they finish ahead of Maximum Security the next time they meet in a race.
No horse has to win the race; the offer is simply based on the head-to-head result with Maximum Security.
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 of Country House, War of Will, Bodexpress and Long Range Toddy to put up $1.86 million instead.
That figure is the exact winner’s share of the Kentucky Derby.
West will donate 100 percent 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 percent 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 in issuing his challenge. “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.”
One possible race for the 3-year-olds to converge again is the July 20 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park, but the offer is open to any race at any track the next time Maximum Security faces each of the other four horses.
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