A disqualification for all the wrong reasons: the Maximum Security/Kentucky Derby controversy

So I’ve kind of taken a bit of a step back from following sports. I never was a huge horse racing fan, though my mom is and I wind up watching a few more horse races and movies about horse racing than I otherwise would because of that. So it is no big surprise, then, that I wound up in front of the TV for at least part of the Kentucky Derby and had a figurative front-row seat for the controversy that followed as Country House was awarded the win and Maximum Security was disqualified after a lengthy review.

I’m not sure what the stewards saw when reviewing the race footage or if they even had access to the actual NBC Sports broadcast footage versus something recorded by the track’s own cameras. In the days after the race it came to light that if any horse was to be disqualified for interference, it should have been Country House, and Maximum Security was the victim and not the perpetrator, according to a video included in a WAVE 3 News report.

That same report indicates that the owners of Maximum Security may file a lawsuit over the questionable officiating. I don’t blame them, as this is, if not a worst case scenario for what can go wrong in the officiating of a horse race, very close to one. Every game or sport, sooner or later, is going to have an officiating issue or some type of controversy over a call. Even competitive pinball has rules governing irregularities as well as officials who have to make judgment calls, and blown calls do happen there as well. The fact that the stewards took over 20 minutes, and still, according to many fans, got it way wrong, is not going to help the image of horse racing in the least. The Kentucky Racing Commission rubber-stamping the stewards’ decision isn’t a good look for the sport, either. I hope this is the last time a high-profile race like this ends in such a controversial decision, and I hope Maximum Security gets his rightfully earned victory back.

The Mueller report and current happenings at the federal level

I know it’s been a lot quieter than it should be here. I have not forgotten about this blog; the reality is that time has been at a premium, and even in the few cases where it hasn’t been, it has gotten so bad lately that I can’t focus because I’m that pissed off about it.

Of particular note, I did download the redacted Mueller report as soon as it came out, fearing it might later be made unavailable (though if that happens, certainly someone will put it up on BitTorrent, Freenet, or some other peer-to-peer network to help keep it in circulation even if our deranged-lunatic-in-chief tried to prohibit its further dissemination by law). I have read some of the news coverage about it (there’s almost no avoiding it when reading the news daily) but I have not had a chance to read the entire report for myself. Hopefully, I will be able to post take on the Mueller report by next Wednesday (May 22) if not sooner.

I want to comment briefly on the most recent event, now a couple of weeks old but still very relevant. Attorney General William Barr was scheduled to testify before the House of Representatives today and did not show up. This isn’t acceptable for any sitting government official, regardless of any politics or partisan conflict. It is functionally the same as blowing off a court appearance.

I mention politics because AG Barr had no issue testifying before the Senate. Currently, the Senate has a Republican majority, while the House has a Democratic majority. It’s obvious to me this is a partisan play. AG Barr was called to testify before the House on a justice-related matter of direct interest to everyone in this country. That partisan politics enters into this at all is wholly unacceptable because it implies that politics come before justice. That’s not what this country was founded upon, and it’s a slap in the face to what this country’s founders did in the late 18th century.

While I do have other topics I want to write about in the interim, I did not want it to look like I’m ignoring the immediate future of the country to blog about what some may perceive as trivial matters in comparison.