Gary West is offering up to $20 million to four Kentucky Derby horse owners if they beat Maximum Security in a race this year.
Maximum Security owner Gary West is offering up to a $20 million reward to the owners of four horses if they beat his thoroughbred in a race this year.
West extended the offer to the owners of War of Will, Long Range Toddy, Bodexpress and Kentucky Derby winner Country House. If any of the horses finish ahead of Maximum Security in a race between now and Dec. 31, he will pay $5 million apiece to the owners. If Maximum Security beats one or more of the horses, West would expect the other owners to each give him $5 million.
West announced the news in a statement, which also said he would request the owners put their money in an escrow account if they agree to the offer. He believes his offer "would result in record viewership and would generate worldwide interest."
"If all five horses met in the same race it would potentially create the most lucrative race in the world," the statement said.
West's offer comes after this year's Kentucky Derby ended in controversy. Maximum Security crossed the finish line first but was later disqualified for running into other horses in the final turn. After stewards spent over 20 minutes reviewing race footage, Country House was named the Derby winner.
There is a catch to West's offer is the other owners are interested but not keen on putting up $5 million.
"If any of the other owners are not as confident in their horses as he is in Maximum Security, [West] 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," the statement said.
West plans to donate his potential winnings from the challenge to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. If no one agrees to his offer, he pledges to donate 10% of Maximum Security's future racing earnings to the charity.
He placed no restrictions on the type of race or track the horses must meet at. The offer is valid if Maximum Security meets the other horses in one race or four separate races. The other horses do not have to win the potential races but only have to finish ahead of Maxiumum Security.