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Country House declared Kentucky Derby winner after Maximum Security disqualified

May 5, 2019, 8:34 am

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First winner disqualified in 145-year history of Derby

Maximum Security led all the way in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, only to become the first winner disqualified for interference in the race's 145-year history. After a long wait, 65-1 shot Country House was declared the winner.

The announcement seemed to come from the heavens, and then all hell broke loose.

"Hold all tickets."

Country House was declared the winner of Saturday's Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs after the second disqualification in the race's 145-year history. Maximum Security crossed the finish line first in 2:03.93 but was moved to 17th place after a lengthy review.

Many in the rain-soaked crowd of 150,729 booed the result. Connections of Maximum Security celebrated in the winner's circle but were quickly escorted out, replaced by Country House's connections.

As the race stewards reviewed the video, Country House trainer Bill Mott stood in the middle of the sloppy Churchill track, surrounded by reporters.

"They don't take many horses down in the Kentucky Derby," Mott said before the disqualification was announced. "If it was a maiden $10,000 on a Thursday, it would be a no-brainer. They don't want the controversy, I'm sure, but you're supposed to keep a straight line."

Maximum Security trainer Jason Servis — thinking he had just joined his brother, John (Smarty Jones in 2004), as the trainer of a Kentucky Derby winner — had just finished an interview with NBC when the "Hold all tickets" call came down.

Servis said he had received "a million" texts of congratulations.

"Now they're all texting me back — 'Sorry. Sorry,'" Servis said.

At 65-1 odds, Country House posted the second-biggest upset in Derby history, behind only Donerail's victory at 91-1 in 1913. Country House paid $132.40 and finished three-quarters of a length ahead of Code of Honor. Tacitus was third.

Bob Baffert came up short in his attempt to become the second trainer to win six Kentucky Derbys. His trio finished fourth (Improbable), fifth (Game Winner) and 15th (Roadster), leaving Ben Jones as the only six-time winner.

Maximum Security, the previously undefeated winner of the Florida Derby, set the early pace with quick fractions of 22.31 seconds for the quarter-mile and 46.62 seconds for the half-mile. Long Range Toddy, Bodexpress and War of Will chased closely behind.

Meanwhile, Country House — with the reputation of being a late closer — was much closer than Mott expected on the backstretch.

"I thought he'd be further back," Mott said. "He was on his game today. Country House was close to the pace. ... No matter how hard you look at it, you just never know when they leave the gate who's going to show that early speed."

Maximum Security, ridden by Luis Saez, still led with 5/16ths of a mile to go when he veered into War of Will, which forced Long Range Toddy jockey Jon Court to check his horse. Long Range Toddy finished 16th, which led to Maximum Security being placed 17th in the 19-horse field. Maximum Security win wagers placed with Twin Spires will be refunded.

Mott said Country House was only mildly affected by Maximum Security's foul. Chief steward Barbara Borden said Country House jockey Flavien Prat and Court filed objections against Maximum Security, claiming interference.

"We determined that (Maximum Security) drifted out and impacted the progress of (War of Will), in turn interfering with (Long Range Toddy) and (Bodexpress)," said Borden, who issued a statement but did not take questions from reporters. "Those horses were all affected, we thought, by the interference. Therefore, we unanimously determined to disqualify (Maximum Security) and place him behind (Long Range Toddy), (Long Range Toddy) being the lowest-placed horse that he bothered, which is our typical procedure."

Mott said Maximum Security "switched to his wrong lead and bore out."

"And when he did, he forced some horses to come together," Mott said. "There were a couple of jocks that had to stand straight up at a very critical time of the race. There were still two horses that were very much in the race to get a big piece of it, and they took all chance away from them."

Later on, Mott said, "With that said, I'm damn glad they put our number up."

Servis said he'd need to watch a replay of the race before deciding whether the stewards' decision was correct.

"The only thing I saw was him duck out a little," Servis said. "With the crowd and stuff, it's hard to say if he saw something or got scared. I didn't get to see it that well."

Take our poll: Who deserves the title of 145th winner of the Kentucky Derby?

Read more: How the 2019 Kentucky Derby winner Country House got its name

A son of Lookin At Lucky out of the War Chant mare Quake Lake, Country House improved to 2-2-1 in seven career starts for co-owners Maury Shields, Guinness McFadden and LNJ Foxwoods.

The only other Derby winner to be disqualified was Dancer's Image in 1968, who was found to have used prohibited medication. Forward Pass was the declared the winner.

For Country House, it's on to the Preakness on May 18 in Baltimore.

"As far as the win goes, it's actually bittersweet," said Mott, the Hall of Fame trainer who picked up his first Derby victory. "I'd be lying if I said it was any different. You always want to win with a clean trip and have everybody recognize the horse as the very good horse and great athlete that he is. Due to the disqualification, probably some of that is diminished."

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Courier Journal, Lottery Post Staff

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24 comments. Last comment 1 year ago by Bleudog101.
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Raven62's avatar - binary
25
New Jersey
United States
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June 28, 2005
130194 Posts
Online

Tough Call considering the Condition of the Track!

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/04/sports/kentucky-derby-stewards-video-review.html

A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

    dpoly1's avatar - driver
    PA
    United States
    Member #66139
    October 16, 2008
    1989 Posts
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    Ridiculous!

    dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

     

    Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

      music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
      USN United States Navy
      Fresno, California
      United States
      Member #157851
      August 2, 2014
      3959 Posts
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      I Agree! Every Professional game has rules and video reviews are here to stay. A rule was broken by horse and rider and they must suffer the consequences.US Flag

       "We are all in this together!" 

        Avatar
        Morristown, TN
        United States
        Member #20592
        August 21, 2005
        492 Posts
        Offline

        Wink The best horse led the whole race and WON.. They got robbed

          Avatar
          Franklin-n.c
          United States
          Member #37193
          April 12, 2006
          54 Posts
          Offline

             your riding a horse not driving a car plus look at the track sloppy let them have a run off and see who will win

            Avatar
            Simpsonville
            United States
            Member #163184
            January 22, 2015
            2257 Posts
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            Race stewards are highly educated for all the rules and regulations on horse racing.  Lay people like myself don't know the ins and outs of all this, but the many, many different videos they've showed here in Kentucky you may not like their decision, but I do see their point.  Do I honestly think it is fair, heck no.  How would a jockey know a horse was right behind him?  The jockey admitted his horse was spooked with all the noise after the final turn. 

              Raven62's avatar - binary
              25
              New Jersey
              United States
              Member #17842
              June 28, 2005
              130194 Posts
              Online

              View the Video: It's obvious the Wrong Horse & Rider was Disqualified!

              A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

              Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

              Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

                Avatar

                Sweden
                Member #153624
                March 20, 2014
                213 Posts
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                Off topic, but how on earth has this news story anything to do with lottery? Will Lottery Post start posting news about cricket and soccer in the future?

                Return of Lotto Investment, ROI: 2019: 41% (march) | 2018 50% | 2017 47% | 2016 12,6% | 2015 20% | 2014 20%
                Return of Stock market investment: 125%

                Notable wins: Viking Lotto $1.152 - 2017

                  Avatar
                  Simpsonville
                  United States
                  Member #163184
                  January 22, 2015
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                  View the Video: It's obvious the Wrong Horse & Rider was Disqualified!

                  Don't know if you've seen all the videos, all angles except for directly overhead and it was a rules violation, unfortunately.

                    Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                    100
                    Zeta Reticuli Star System
                    United States
                    Member #30469
                    January 17, 2006
                    11498 Posts
                    Offline

                    Off topic, but how on earth has this news story anything to do with lottery? Will Lottery Post start posting news about cricket and soccer in the future?

                    You don't think any lottery players be the Derby?

                    Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any. So many systems, so many theories, so few jackpot winners. 

                    Lep

                    There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                      Avatar
                      Simpsonville
                      United States
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                      January 22, 2015
                      2257 Posts
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                      You don't think any lottery players be the Derby?

                      I found it refreshing to read personally and welcomed a change of scenery.

                        cottoneyedjoe's avatar - cuonvFT

                        United States
                        Member #197033
                        March 28, 2019
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                        Off topic, but how on earth has this news story anything to do with lottery? Will Lottery Post start posting news about cricket and soccer in the future?

                        Lotto and horse race betting have an intertwined history. The earliest numbers games (Pick 3) used the last three digits of the local racetrack handle as the official draw. Chances are if you're interested in one form of gambling such as the lottery, you're interested in other forms. I see nothing out of place here.

                          Raven62's avatar - binary
                          25
                          New Jersey
                          United States
                          Member #17842
                          June 28, 2005
                          130194 Posts
                          Online

                          Don't know if you've seen all the videos, all angles except for directly overhead and it was a rules violation, unfortunately.

                          The strategy when a horse is outrun during the early stages of the race, and then gets into gear too late to overtake the leader is to whine about the leader interfering and get the leader disqualified.

                          A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

                          Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

                          Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

                            lejardin's avatar - Lottery-014.jpg

                            United States
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                            November 4, 2011
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                            I watched it and did notice they were close at some point in the race but with the soupy mud I am surprised there was no collision but did not think any wrongdoing.  I do not agree with the disqualification.  That third picture in the story was an awesome shot.

                            First time in 145 year history sounds like sour grapes.  Sad ending to what was a great race imo.