Return to news index

History made in Kentucky Derby as first-place finisher is disqualified

A 65-1 long shot has won the Kentucky Derby after an objection disqualified Maximum Security, who had crossed the finish line first.

Country House took the win after Maximum Security interfered with War of Will. Code of Honor was second and Tacitus was third.

It was the first time in Derby history that the horse who crossed the finish line first was not declared the winner because of a foul on the track.

In the history of this storied race, no horse had been disqualified for interference.

The speedy Maximum Security, the only undefeated horse in the field, appeared to win the 145th Kentucky Derby at rain-soaked Churchill Downs to keep his streak intact, but an objection lodged by the second- and third-place finishers — Country House and Code of Honor — led to his disqualification.

After a tense objection period that lasted several minutes, after the apparent winning connections had already been interviewed on live television, the stewards made the nearly impossible decision to disqualify Maximum Security.

Country House paid $US132.40 to win, the second-highest total in the Derby. Code of Honor finished second and Tacitus, also trained by Mott, was third.

The almost unbelievable result ends the streak of favourites winning the Run for the Roses at six.

Trainer Bill Mott, who is in the Hall of Fame, got his first win in the Derby.

"If it were a maiden claiming race on a weekday, the winner would come down," Mott said as he anxiously awaited the stewards' decision.

From the winner's circle, Mott acknowledged it was an odd way to capture his first Derby win. "We'll just have to prove ourselves in the future," he said.

Ridden by Luis Saez, Maximum Security went to the lead and narrowly held on, appearing to give his trainer, Jason Servis, his first Derby victory in only his second appearance (he finished 11th in last year's race with Firenze Fire). His brother John won the 2004 Derby with Smarty Jones; they would have been the only siblings to win the Derby.

But it was determined that Maximum Security impeded War of Will and others when Saez moved out from the rail and affected the outcome of the race.

Maximum Security, the favourite for most of the day until just before the horses broke from the gate, went off at odds of 9-2.

Article courtesy of Nine and The Brisbane Times





Your browser is out of date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now

×