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BREAKING: Maximum Security disqualified, long shot Country House wins Kentucky Derby 145

CBS Sports

CBS Sports

For the first time in Kentucky Derby history, the first person to cross the finish line did not come out victorious.

Maximum Security held the lead the entire race, but after review, he was disqualified for impeding War of Will. After the decision, long shot Country House was declared the winner of Kentucky Derby 145.

Here was the moment the decision was announced:

This was the incident that initiated the objection, and ultimately the disqualification:

When interviewed afterward by NBC, Maximum Security jockey Luis Saez said that his horse got scared on the muddy surface, and he tried as hard as he could to help the horse “stay straight.”

Maximum Security’s trainer, Jason Servis, said that his horse “straightened up right away” and that he didn’t think it affected the final result.

“Pray to the racing gods,” Servis said as he waited for the ruling.

Country House came in with final odds of 62-1, making it the second-biggest long shot to win the Derby behind Donerail (91-1) in 1913.

The final official results were Country House for the win ($132.40), Code of Honor with the place, and Tacitus for the show.

For those keeping track at home, a $2 exacta bet won $3,009.60, while a $1 trifecta bet won $11,475.30, and a $1 superfecta bet won $51,400.10.

History has been made.


Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

91 Comments for BREAKING: Maximum Security disqualified, long shot Country House wins Kentucky Derby 145

  1. Smyrna_Cat
    7:29 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    Round two.

  2. bluecat15
    7:31 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink


    • J. Did
      8:11 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      I agree. We’ve been suffering through enough horse shit with the ‘referee’s in the NCAA Basketball…and Football. Now, a sport hugely notorius for corruption….has admitted it.

  3. TimLH
    7:32 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    What a sad decision

    • krautdog
      7:43 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      Bad call! We’ve seen a lot of that in sports this year.

  4. BeastAtom
    7:33 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    I knew he should have been dq’d, but i didn’t think they’d have the guts to do it. Rules are rules, and they made the right call.

    • JTHinton
      7:42 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      This ^^

    • Smyrna_Cat
      7:56 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      For the complainers … this.

    • dcforuk
      8:11 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      Can someone answer this question……does a steward ever DQ a horse WITHOUT an objection? If the answer is no, then I think this is a cowardly response by the team that objected.

    • StillBP
      8:45 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      The team that objected won. Perhaps a cowardly victory, but still a win.

    • dcforuk
      8:58 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      On paper and per the stats and the books, yes. On paper and per the stats and the books Barry Bonds has 762 home runs.

  5. magimae
    7:35 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    That was the biggest bs disqualification, the best horse got the shaft

    • Smyrna_Cat
      7:57 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      And the best horse should have also been disqualified … and did.

    • dcforuk
      8:09 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      The two jockeys with a legitimate right to object chose not to object for a reason

    • Cat68
      9:50 am May 5, 2019 Permalink

      100% agree! And the spooked horse was able to get it together and win by a length and a half! They don’t call it in the first quarter the way they do in the fourth.

    • J. Did
      8:26 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      The greatest 2 minutes in sports – a sport of Kings – just went to hell in a hand-basket after a 15 minute delay and wrong decision by 3 numb nuts which will irrevocably damage the Kentucky Derby.

    • dcforuk
      8:33 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      Oh how I wish John Asher were still alive to get input and wisdom from his perspective. However, he was a class act. Will be curious to see if WDRB’s Crawford writes on this and what his take will be.

    • J. Did
      9:24 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      dcforuk: I agree.

      In re Eric Crawford, he is a great sports writer. Yeah, he’s a UofL fan, but he is a gifted writer. If you disagree with what he says – and email him – he will respond and carry on the discourse until a decision is rendered. That’s a sign of good human; and better writer.

  6. RealCatsFan
    7:37 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    Crappiest call since the Duke game.

  7. RealCatsFan
    7:40 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    It’s like the officials at sporting events are trying to outdo each other for the spotlight.

  8. nicky
    7:53 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    Now horses are getting “Higginsed”

    • J. Did
      9:01 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      Indeed! I not only concur, but thank you for allowing me to laugh heartily in a time of solace.

    • krautdog
      10:28 am May 5, 2019 Permalink

      In BBN lingo: it was ruled a “flagrant technical foul”!

  9. Cattington
    7:57 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    It was the correct call. Not sure how anyone would see otherwise. The replay made it fairly obvious; even the jockey knew it happened.

    • dcforuk
      8:02 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      I don’t think anyone would argue or could argue that the horse did not move from his lane. That is pretty obvious. My initial thought during the inquiry was that the horse should’ve been DQ’d. Initially, I compared it to the Auburn Virginia game. If a foul at the end of the game would’ve been called during the game then it should be called at the end of the game. I thought that if the horse would’ve been disqualified in any other race, then he should be disqualified here; however, there are no other races that have 20 horses that I am aware of. Things will always happen in a 20 horse field. Not to mention, wasn’t the objection filed by the horse team that was declared the winner and not by the horses that were truly impeded?

  10. nocode96
    8:09 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    Hate it for the horse, the trainer, and the jockey…and, well, my own entertainment, but this was the correct call according to the rules that are in place. I hate it, but it’s the absolute right call.

    • dcforuk
      8:13 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      The strike zone is between the numbers and the knees. If a batter placed his jersey numbers on his belt would that change the strike zone from the belt to the knees?

    • Smyrna_Cat
      8:19 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      Geez, DCFORUK, did you lose money on this?

    • dcforuk
      8:29 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      Nope. It is far from a slam dunk that the right call was made. I don’t think the right decision was made and therefore, will make the case why I believe the wrong decision was made…….especially against those who are adamant it was the right decision.

    • Smyrna_Cat
      8:32 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      DC, everyone is welcome to their opinion.

    • dcforuk
      8:33 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      Certainly are. I don’t have to agree though

    • mashburnfan1
      11:55 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      I seldom agree with NoCode but he/she is 100% right. BY RULE it is a DQ nd the amount of horses in race does not matter, if dc can’t see that he/she is just stupid.
      My objection would be the team that brought it up and filed the obstruction was not affected during the race. The only ones that should be able to file are those actually obstructed and none of them did file. Maximum did impede the progress of a horse, just not the one that filed the case and the one obstructed must have felt it did not affect their outcome as they did not file anything. The ones that filed finished 2nd and had nothing to lose so why not file, they were in no way involved so should not be allowed to file anything.

    • dcforuk
      12:16 am May 5, 2019 Permalink

      See update below monster Mash. That changes things. I still believe, though, that a 20 horse race is a lot different than a 5, 6, 7 or 8 horse race.

  11. StillBP
    8:16 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    Another vacated title in Louisville.

  12. neat1ky
    8:20 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    The horses impeded did not file so let it pass and country filed and it did not affect him one way or the other and as the experts agreed this horse was not winning, sorry if u watch races the horses change lanes a lot and by that rule impedes. The best horse won then got screwed. Hope maximum security wins the next 2 races and country does not finish top 3.

    • dcforuk
      8:22 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      Plus one!

    • Smyrna_Cat
      8:34 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      Following DC’s comment earlier about balancing the discussion, I can see this arguement making sense. But as DC said earlier, this would have been called a DQ in most other races, so it is certainly not “wrong” to call it here. A matter of opinion.

    • dcforuk
      8:37 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      Here’s what’s going to be very interesting in the coming days. To me the biggest factor supporting not disqualifying maximum-security is that there are 20 or 21 horses in the race. I am looking forward to the articles that refer to past Kentucky derby winners that switched lanes and were not DQ’d. I’ve tried to Google it but my horse researching skills are lacking

    • RealCatsFan
      10:10 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      Silver Charm in 1997 is a prime example.

    • RAGE
      11:48 am May 5, 2019 Permalink


    • RAGE
      11:50 am May 5, 2019 Permalink

      Just seemed like racing to me… if you don’t want your route to be impeded then get out in front… Like the horse that got DQ he led it wire to wire he should have won

  13. BG Cat
    8:45 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    What lanes? Are there lines in that muddy course I didn’t see, that the horses have to stay in? I don’t get it. Rubbin’ is Racin’. Lol

    • dcforuk
      8:54 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads!” — Dr. Emmett Brown

    • Smyrna_Cat
      9:09 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      Agree what you want … you can clearly see the horse slide to the right. Watch his feet and the tracks on the ground. I am still surprised they called it, though.

  14. VirginiaCat
    8:56 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    It occurs to me that the truly impeded horses would not have benefitted had Maximum Security been disqualified, thus no reason to file an objection. The interference was called in connection with War of Will and Country House benefited by being in the right right position at the right time. The question in my mind is this: Should the standard be purely interference or should it be interference that would have changed the outcome of the race? I thing the former standard was applied when common sense and discretion would have favored the latter. In basketball we would call it no harm, no foul.

    • dcforuk
      9:00 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      I believe the objection was filed by the Country House team and NOT the horse #1 team.

  15. friendsofcoal
    8:56 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    It’s easy guys…we’ve had 2 triple crown winners over the past few years and they don’t want to see that happen again for 50 more years. They know Country Horse doesn’t have a shot at the Preakness or Belmont. Maximum Security will win those two races.

    • dcforuk
      9:03 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      Back in my conspiracy days, I would have agreed with you. However, the older I get the more I realize how often things are just not that coordinated. Historically, I really think that no objection would have been made as kind of an unwritten rule. I think that the steward was put in a very rare difficult situation and had a decision that she and the other two had to make. The circumstances are extremely unfortunate. I would not want to go down in history winning the derby that way and being the one who made the objection. I would not have had a problem as much if horse number one made the objection. The fact that horse number one made no objection tells me that its team knew that maximum-security was the best horse

  16. benneac
    9:01 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    Horse can move from path to path. This is not a 100 meter dash. However, if you move paths and cut off another horse this can happen. In this case, Maximum Security went from the rail all the way to the 3 or 4 path pretty quickly. The right call was made. When you lug out like that in a claiming race you can get disqualified. I feel sorry for the Maximum Security’s jockey. I assumed he was trying to lug out a little to more discreetly to make it difficult to pass him and his horse went a little too far. Kinda like in basketball when you will try to hold your guy a little and hope the ref doesn’t catch you. I have not seen the official chart but I assume they moved Maximum security back to 8th since that is where the horse he actually cut off finished. That is typically how it works.

    My dad trained horses most of my life so I am glad to see people actually talking about horse racing for a change. Had this happened and no disqualification happened people would be complaining about how terrible horse racing is because you can just swerve all over the track and be crowned the winner. People would cry dirty pool.

    • dcforuk
      9:05 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      What we will never know is if the objection was not made, would the steward have made an inquiry. I think the horse got spooked. I don’t think the jockey intentionally switched lanes but the reality is it happened

    • benneac
      9:11 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      I hear ya DC. They are animals afterall. The jockey did say they crowd noise scared the horse around that time. You could see in the replay that the horse moved his head awkwardly– not in a way you normally see when a horse is really running hard. For me this is a lot better press than if there was a big accident and a bunch of horses had to be put down. That would really be much worse for the sport.

    • dcforuk
      9:21 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      It is certainly a reminder of the uncertainty and unpredictability of life. The sport was on an extreme high last year with the Triple Crown winner. With all of the tragic death of the horses this year and now this the pendulum has certainly swung the other way some

  17. ukcamel
    9:06 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    I’d be irritated if I lost money on this too. Which is what I assume is the case for everybody that is whining.

    • dcforuk
      9:14 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      I don’t gamble. All that dosage index crap and speed ratings yada yada yada I have never been good at. I do know someone who has a friend who won $3000 on the exacta and claims that he just feels terrible for winning that way. Hmmm. I bet he’s starting to feel a little bit better ……

    • Smyrna_Cat
      9:25 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      Tell your friend to send me the money if he feels so bad he needs to get rid of it. lol

  18. TimLH
    9:14 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t know if it’s fully true but I have heard there have already been 17 lawsuits filed against the racing commissioners over the Disqualification.

    • dcforuk
      9:19 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      Not their fault as much as it is the team that objected. It’s a shame. They were put in a position that they had to make a decision. It is a shame that they were put in that position by a team that was not impacted by the lane movement. Those lawsuits, if genuine, will fail.

    • mashburnfan1
      12:00 am May 5, 2019 Permalink

      That would not be possible as the courts are not even open till Monday so you can safely say this is not true and even impossible.

  19. BG Cat
    9:15 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    Still don’t get it. It’s a horse race. Could understand if jockey kicked other horse in the head or something crazy. But otherwise, first horse to finish line wins! Much less one that lead wire to wire!

  20. benneac
    9:27 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    Just saw the chart and they place Maximum Security 17th which is behind #18 Long Range Range Toddy who I guess he really interfered with. The chart says Long Range Toddy ‘checked hard at the 5/16 pole’. The winning share is $1,860,000. You get $0 for 17th. Plus you have to pay over $50,000 to run. I will be surprised if a lawsuit produces much. Though it will be nice to see Churchill Downs suffer since they do whatever they can to screw everyone in the industry. Believe it or not, all trainers have to pay for tickets to get into the track to run in the Derby. I know it sound crazy but its true. Other tracks at least give you a handful of tickets. Its like being a roadie for Metallica and having to pay to watch the concert.

  21. dcforuk
    9:47 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    Breaking News. This changes my opinion. See below from Eric Crawford’s article:

    The stewards from the KRC who made the decision read a statement after 9 p.m. Saturday to explain the decision. They said the objection against Maximum Security was filed by War of Will and Long Range Toddy. Barbara Borden, chief state steward for the KRC, said after a review which included interviews of the jockeys, they determined Maximum Security “drifted out and impacted the progress of (War of Will), in turn, interfering with (Long Range Toddy) and (Bodexpress).”

    • dcforuk
      9:48 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      This is NOT what was reported by the NBC folks. They had said the Country House team filed the objection. This information matters.

    • benneac
      9:51 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      Good info. Glad I didn’t have to make that call. As with most things, when we get a more comprehensive explanation it makes more sense. Have a good night all. If I were the connections of Country House I would go home and cry into my big bag of money.

    • dcforuk
      9:55 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      The article also references the Kentucky Administrative Regulation 810 KAR 1:016 section 12 which says: “If in the opinion of the stewards a foul alters the finish of a race, an offending horse may be disqualified by the stewards.” I think because the horses that were truly impeded made the objection, then it is what it is…..

    • mashburnfan1
      12:04 am May 5, 2019 Permalink

      Trouble with that statement is they talk to the jockeys INVOLVED and you could clearly see the Country jockey on the phone right before the Maximum jockey was interviewed by phone by the stewards. There would be no reason to interview the Country jockey unless he filed the objection, they were not involved in the actual incident. And we saw no other jockeys on the phone or with the stewards and the cameras were all right there.

    • dcforuk
      12:21 am May 5, 2019 Permalink

      I would imagine that the steward has the right to talk to whoever they want I would think.

  22. J. Did
    10:05 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    dcforuk – outstanding. Splendid work.

    • Smyrna_Cat
      10:25 am May 5, 2019 Permalink

      Outstanding indeed. Railed against the system for 3 hours despite not actually knowing what happened. THEN copied what someone else said. Then said, “never mind.” KSR at its best.

  23. Dee
    10:11 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    It was the correct call. I was shocked they had the stones to make it. The jockey lost the race. 7 was the strongest horse… but his jockey failed him. The horse clearly left it’s lane and impeded other horses. The 1 horse got shafted… bravo to the stewards.

  24. bige
    10:20 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    Fatal flaw in racing and this snowflake society:
    The lead horse shouldn’t have to worry about the followers.

    • mashburnfan1
      12:06 am May 5, 2019 Permalink

      except that a couple inches one way or the other and both jockeys could be dead or badly injured and both horses dead. The behind horse’s front leg nearly got caught up in the rear legs of Maximum. You sure are a bright one.

    • 4everUKblue
      11:37 am May 5, 2019 Permalink

      LMAO! mashbumKfanboy, if only you were as objective in your UKBB as you are on all comments not UKBB…maybe you’re not an idiot, just a jackass!

  25. runningunnin.454
    10:46 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    Sloppy track, 19 horses was a recipe for disaster; could have been a lot worse. The only reason for a horse to be dq’d is if the jockey deliberately “cheats” and that was not apparent; a horse is a dumb animal, and therefore can not willfully “cheat”, and the horse was obviously spooked. Do we expect the jockey to whisper in the horse’s ear, “stay in your lane, bro”.
    The best horse….and the Derby, lost on this one.

    • Goose
      12:10 am May 5, 2019 Permalink

      Good points and too funny…..LOL!!!

  26. Headhurts
    11:09 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    Seen worse not called, had it not been the front runners doubt it gets called, too many horses like usual.

  27. Skooms
    11:37 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

    At first I was pissed off because I had Maximum Security keyed and the field boxed for a 1.00 exacta….but then I realized that I had a 10.00 W/P bet on Country House that paid about the same if not a little more than the 1.00 exacta with MaxS winning would have paid.

    • Skooms
      11:38 pm May 4, 2019 Permalink

      The crazy part is that I lost the Oaks, and then EVERY dang race today until the Derby.

  28. Ranch
    8:19 am May 5, 2019 Permalink

    If you go back and slo mo the race, War of Will cuts off Long Range Toddy, Country House cuts off Bodexpress. Those fouls were way more egregious than Maximum Security. Max was out front and came over some but could not see what all was happening behind. War of Will & Country House could see just fine, they should be DQ’d not Maximum Security

  29. makeitstop
    10:36 am May 5, 2019 Permalink

    Most media outlets have not reported the full text of Section 12. There is no reasonable dispute that a foul was committed when Max Security weaved out two lanes, it was dangerous and whether intentional or accidental it’s the jockeys job to ensure it doesn’t happen bc it could’ve been catastrophic. The rest of the rule, however is the standard many have suggested: only overturning the result IF the foul affected the outcome. The rule concludes: “ If in the opinion of the stewards a foul alters the finish of a race, an offending horse may be disqualified by the stewards.” The stewards made the call bc they did believe cutting off #1 pushed #18 and #20 out or cut them off, which I think it did. Did it alter the results? The Stewards, who are seldom in public, are directed to make that determination under Ky Law, not some NCAA reg. It’s their legal duty. I give them credit for having the guts to do it but that’s their job to protect our industry. Frankly, the jockey immediately taking his horse back to the rail after the interference looked to me like he went out purposefully and never lost control as he immediately implied in his odd first interview, saying he’s a baby he was scared, before anyone was aware that would be an issue. He knew. And my theory is it was purposeful and aggressive riding which they do at times and in this case it was not so subtle and he got popped. One lane too many, strong move back to the rail afterward implied intent. Just my theory.

    • makeitstop
      11:59 am May 5, 2019 Permalink

      And FYI, jockey Luis Saez has been suspended for 5 days at a time for “careless riding”’ and “not maintaining a straight line” at Gulfstream (this year), Saratoga and Belmont. I got that in 15 minutes of open source searches, u would think a real reporter my dig in (hint: KSR, dig in and own the story.) I haven’t bothered to get the clips of those races or find more but I know courses keep the films at tracks I’ve represented. Would be an interesting comparison.

  30. RAGE
    11:56 am May 5, 2019 Permalink

    Just racing to me… again like I said before if you want a clear ride to the front lead the race from start to finish… Maximum Security did just that… If this was NASCAR they block lanes all the time… Just racing to me I think the jockey and the owner of Maximum Security got a raw deal

    • RAGE
      11:58 am May 5, 2019 Permalink

      After all they are just horses… Horses have a mind of their own doesn’t matter what the jockey wants him to do… If you have have any dealings with these type of horses they are extremely high strung

    • makeitstop
      12:00 pm May 5, 2019 Permalink

      Sorry rage I meant to reply to u not me lol but see above – same jockey has other suspensions for 5 days at at least 3 tracks. Don’t know that changes ur mind or means it was intentional but it’s curious.

    • makeitstop
      12:03 pm May 5, 2019 Permalink

      Also the infield is not right on the rail bc of the turf track so the “spooking” alibi that he offered as soon as he was interviewed and bf an inquiry was lodged isn’t as plausible as in the old days when the crowd was on the rail and it was a real thing.

    • RAGE
      2:57 pm May 5, 2019 Permalink

      No makeitstop I had no knowledge of that and yeah it kind of does change things in some ways… but also I appreciate your response I will be first to say I don’t know a great deal about horse racing myself… other than I really enjoy watching horse racing… But I will def be first to say that I don’t know much about the rules or anything about the jockeys… I am glad to know this about the jockeys history

  31. cattycat
    12:22 pm May 5, 2019 Permalink

    I agree with makeitstop. I think the jockey did it on purpose too. I really didn’t think that it was very egregious until I saw replays this morning. If you watch the replay above, you can see that the jockey is looking at the #1 horse that was gaining on him. Right at the 30 second mark you can see it very clearly. The actual disqualifying infraction occurred between the last two turns. This is a link. It is right around the 2 minute mark. He actually bumps Code of Honor too. Terrible ride by the jockey. This is NBCs call of race.

  32. RAGE
    3:02 pm May 5, 2019 Permalink

    Also the thing about horse racing that I enjoy most is checking into the breeding of the horses… Trust me I am no need but I enjoy looking at pedigrees and what makes the horses so dominant lol… I do that with dogs and stuff also

    • RAGE
      3:03 pm May 5, 2019 Permalink

      This was meant as just a statement to u also makeitstop… just making conversation and showing I have no deep knowledge of horse racing I would love to learn more