Chief Steward Barbara Borden Goes On The Record About ‘Life-Changing’ Derby Disqualification

Nearly two years after the historic disqualification of Maximum Security in the 145th Kentucky Derby, chief state steward Barbara Borden has gone on record with the Courier-Journal to discuss the career-defining 22 minutes during which she and her fellow stewards made their decision.

Viewing the Run for the Roses from five different camera angles, Borden, Brooks “Butch” Becraft, and Tyler Picklesimer determined that Maximum Security caused an issue near the quarter pole when he impeded the path of War of Will, who then bumped into Long Range Toddy. For the first time in the race’s storied history, it was announced that the horse first across the wire would be disqualified due to interference. Borden and her fellow stewards placed Maximum Security 17th, behind Long Range Toddy, the last horse his action bothered. Preparing to make the race official, Borden turned to Becraft and Picklesimer before pressing the button.

“I said, ‘This is a big thing and it’s probably going to be life-changing,’” Borden told the Courier-Journal. “That was kind of dramatic at the time, I thought, but with some of the events that occurred afterward, it really wasn’t an overstatement.”

The aftershocks of the stewards’ decision were far-reaching. A call from Maximum Security’s owners less than 30 seconds after the race went official was a prelude to the coming legal challenge. Immediately, Churchill Downs took precautions for Borden’s safety; a security guard escorted her to her car after the races, but Borden remembers him backing away as she started it, as if the car might explode.

As the weeks after the Derby wore on, Borden said she received hate mail both at Churchill Downs and at her home. Churchill placed a security guard on her for the remainder of the Spring Meet.

Eventually, the stewards’ decision was upheld in court due to a Kentucky law that states the stewards are responsible for “all findings of fact as to all matters occurring during and incident to the running of a race,” and “findings of fact and determination shall be final and not subject to appeal.”

“I knew when I took this job that it was going to be stressful at times,” Borden told the Courier-Journal. “It was a little more than I expected, the fallout, but it didn’t deter me at all from wanting to come back. The first time we walked back in this (stewards) room after that happened was several days later. It was a little weird to walk in here, but it didn’t deter me at all. We did our job. As much as we didn’t come in here looking to do that that day, we did our jobs and we were proud of that.”

Read more at the Courier-Journal.

The post Chief Steward Barbara Borden Goes On The Record About ‘Life-Changing’ Derby Disqualification appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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