Country House Wins Kentucky Derby; Maximum Security DQ’d

Country House Wins Kentucky Derby; Maximum Security DQ’d

When Omaha Beach was surprisingly scratched from the Kentucky Derby, the race went from having a heavy favorite to being wide open. But when the race was run Saturday afternoon on a muddy track at the Churchill Downs, the race had what appeared to be a clear winner.

Maximum Security led the race wire to wire, and for a moment, he was the winner of the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby. That is until he was disqualified.

It seems that riders are allowed to submit objections following a race if they feel another horse interfered with them or someone else during the race. Three stewards then review complaints and a ruling made.

Apparently, several riders raised objections concerning Maximum Security. After interviewing affected riders and video of the race, it was determined that Maximum Security did interfere with several horses during the race.

Barbara Borden, the Derby’s chief steward, explained what happened to the media in the hours following the race, via ESPN:

“…. Therefore, we unanimously determined to disqualify No. 7 and place him behind the 18 … the lowest-placed horse that he bothered, which is our typical procedure.”

Maximum Security went from finishing first in the race to finishing 17th. The second-place horse, a 65-1 longshot by the name of Country House, was named the winner. Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott got his first Kentucky Derby win at the age of 65.

Flavien Prat, who was one of the jockeys that objected to Maximum Security, won his first Derby.

Gary West, Maximum Security’s owner, has said he is considering an appeal and called the disqualification the most egregious in the history of horse racing. It was the first time in the long history of the Kentucky Derby that a horse was disqualified for interference and just the second win in seven races for Country House.

There had been one other disqualification, Dancer’s Image in 1968, but that wasn’t until hours later and due to a failed drug test

The next leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, will be on May 19, at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.

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