September 25, 2020

Country House awarded Kentucky Derby 145 win following Maximum Security DQ

Country House with Flavian Prat up in the Churchill Downs winner's circle after being award the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1) via disqualification on May 4, 2019 (c) Horsephotos.com/Cecilia Gustavsson

Maximum Security produced a wire-to-wire victory on Saturday at Churchill Downs to win the 145th Kentucky Derby (G1) under jockey Luis Saez and remain perfect in five career starts.

However, the colt was disqualified following a lengthy stewards inquiry after jockey Flavien Prat aboard runner-up Country House lodged an objection in the $3 million affair.

Maximum Security post splits of :22.31, :46.62, 1:12.50 and 1:38.63 before finishing the 1 1/4-mile race in 2:03.93 over the sloppy main track. Rounding the final bend, however, the Jason Servis charge came off the inside and blocked the paths of War of Will, Long Range Toddy and Bodexpress. Maximum Security straightened out for the run down the lane and repelled Country House, who was never affected by the incident on the far outside.

Maximum Security (pink cap) comes off the inside and into the path of War of Will, with Country House on the outside, on the turn of the 145th Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs on May 4, 2019 (c) Horsephotos.com/Lauren J. Pomeroy

Even while Maximum Security’s connections were celebrating, Prat was already lodging an objection as the horses were returning. The inquiry dragged on before the final decision was announced to a chorus of both cheers and boos from crowd and connections: Maximum Security disqualified to 17th.

As a despondent Saez headed back to the jockeys room, Prat joined trainer Bill Mott in the winner’s circle with Country House, who was elevated to first. The chestnut son of Lookin at Lucky was sent off the second longest shot on the board at 65-1 and returned $132.40 for the win.

Code of Honor, who finished three parts of a length behind Country House, was bumped up to second while Tacitus, another three-quarters of a length back, was elevated to third.

The Bob Baffert-trained duo of Improbable and Game Winner came next and were followed by the Japanese-bred Master Fencer. War of Will filled the seventh spot and next were Plus Que Parfait, Win Win Win, Cutting Humor, By My Standards, Vekoma, Bodexpress, Tax, Roadster, Long Range Toddy, Maximum Security, Spinoff and Gray Magician.

Country House gave his trainer and rider a first Kentucky Derby win as well as scoring an initial stakes victory for himself. Campaigned by Mrs. J.V. Shields Jr., E.J.M. McFadden Jr. and LNJ Foxwoods, the sophomore broke his maiden in his sophomore opener at Fair Grounds on January 17. He ran second in his stakes bow, the Risen Star Stakes (G2), and was fourth in the Louisiana Derby (G2) before shipping to Oaklawn Park for a third-place effort in the Arkansas Derby (G1).

Country House is now 7-2-2-1 in his career and has banked $2,120,175 lifetime. Bred in Kentucky by J.V. Shields Jr., the chestnut is out of the winning War Chant mare Quake Lake, making him a half-brother to this year’s Albert M. Stall Memorial victor, Mitchell Road. Quake Lake is herself a half-sister to Break Lucky, a Canadian Grade 3 winner who captured the 2015 Prince of Wales Stakes and placed in the 2017 Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) and Whitney Stakes (G1).

7 Comments on Country House awarded Kentucky Derby 145 win following Maximum Security DQ

  1. Well because the trainer was born on and he has never won Kentucky Derby before so they had to give it to him they could have run around the racetrack again and that horse would not have passed maximum security

  2. After watching the replay I didn’t see the eventual winner impeded. I thought it was a frivolous claim of foul by Prat. Hypothetically…since no inquiry was lodged, that I’m aware of, I wonder what would have happened if Prat didn’t claim foul?

  3. It follows where the country is going and that is BS political correctness.
    Country House will not win the Preakness

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