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Country House wins 2019 Kentucky Derby after Maximum Security gets disqualified

Kentucky Derby disqualification raises questions

Country House won the 145th Kentucky Derby on Saturday after Maximum Security became the first horse to be disqualified in the history of the storied race. Maximum Security crossed the finish line first, but there was an objection on the field and the horse in second place, Country House, was declared the winner.

An objection was filed by Jon Court, who rode Long Range Toddy, and Flavien Prat, the jockey for Country House. They claimed Maximum Security interfered with the progress of other horses. Three stewards immediately reviewed replays to determine whether Maximum Security had veered into the path of War of Will and other horses.

After deliberating for nearly 25 minutes, the stewards unanimously determined that Maximum Security moved out of his lane coming out of the final turn. In the process, he also got in the way of Long Range Toddy and Country House while in the final turn.

Barbara Borden later issued a statement on behalf of the stewards. She said Maximum Security's final place would be behind the lowest-placed horse interfered with, as per their procedure. In this case, the No. 18 horse, Long Range Toddy.

Country House, ridden by Flavien Prat, was a 65-1 longshot to win the Derby. This means a $2 bet would paid out $132.40.

"It's a great moment. It's a dream come true," an elated Pratt said after his win. "I mean, there's no race like the Kentucky Derby. And I was hoping to one day ride it, ride the Derby, and to win it."

This is the second win for the 3-year-old male colt, Country House. His first win was in January at Gulfstream Park. In his previous three races, he placed third, fourth and second, respectively. He's also the son of Lookin at Lucky, the winner of the 2010 Preakness States and the 2010 Indiana Derby.

Kentucky Derby Horse Racing
Country House, left, races against Maximum Security, second from right, on Saturday, May 4, 2019. AP

The ruling Saturday gave trainer Bill Mott his first victory at Churchill Downs. The 65-year old described the win as "bittersweet."

"You always want to win with a clean trip and have everybody recognize the horse as the very good horse and for the great athlete that he is," Mott said in a news conference. "I think, due to the disqualification, probably some of that is diminished. But this is horse racing."

Rain poured for nearly an hour before post time, forcing officials to downgrade the track condition to sloppy for the third year in a row. This year's race was also tinged with drama days before the race, as the favorite Omaha Beach, was forced to pull out over breathing issues.

2019 Kentucky Derby official results 

  1. Country House
  2. Code of Honor
  3. Tacitus
  4. Improbable
  5. Game Winner
  6. Master Fencer
  7. War of Will
  8. Plus Que Parfait
  9. Win Win Win
  10. Cutting Humor
  11. By My Standards
  12. Vekoma
  13. Bodexpress
  14. Tax
  15. Roadster
  16. Long Range Toddy
  17. Maximum Security   
  18. Spinoff
  19. Gray Magician
  20. Omaha Beach (scratch)
  21. Haikal (scratch)

Kentucky Derby betting payouts

Country House (65-1) was the official winner, Code of Honor (14-1) finished second and Tacitus (5-1) finished third. Improbable was fourth for superfecta wagers.

Payouts:

  • Country House: $132.40 (win), $56.60 (place), $24.60 (show)
  • Code of Honor: $15.20 (place), $9.80 (show)
  • Tacitus: $5.60 (show)

Payouts for exacta, trifecta and superfecta bets:

  • Exacta: 20-13 (Country House , Code of Honor) paid $3,009.60 on a $2 bet
  • Trifecta: 20-13-8 (Country House, Code of Honor, Tacitus) paid $11,475.30 on a $1 bet
  • Superfecta: 2-13-8-5 (Country House, Code of Honor, Tacitus, Improbable) paid $51,400.1 on a $1 bet
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