Winning Kentucky Derby jockey says lane-interference violation was right call

Flavien Prat rides Country House to victory during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby

Co-owner Gary West is set to appeal the disqualification of Maximum Security from first place in the Kentucky Derby.

But first a few thoughts on what happened Saturday, when a almost 22 minute review resulted in Maximum Security becoming the first Derby-winning horse to be disqualified in 145 runnings of the race.

After a 20-minute video review, officials found that Maximum Security, which was 4-1 favourite to win the 1¼ mile race, was guilty of a contact foul when it appeared to take a wide turn and impede other horses in the home stretch.

Country House was declared the victor after Maximum Security was disqualified following a review by race stewards.

The owner of Maximum Security says his horse will not be running in the Preakness Stakes in two weeks after the controversy that unfolded at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.

Jockey Flavien Prat celebrates after the Kentucky Derby aboard Country House at Churchill Downs, May 4, 2019 in Louisville, Ky. "Win, lose or draw, we're not going to know the outcome of until probably months, if not years, down the road", he said.

Maximum Security's disqualification was the first of its kind in Kentucky Derby history.




But for now, limiting the Kentucky Derby field is the next step.

An appeal filed Monday morning was denied later in the day by the KHRC, which stated in a letter to West's attorney that the stewards' decision is not subject to appeal. "And there's no reason to run a horse back in two weeks when you don't have to". And when the decision to disqualify Maximum Security was announced, Mott's plan went up in smoke.

Before Saturday, the horse that crossed the wire first was never taken down because of an on-the-track objection in the 145-year history of the Kentucky Derby. (Country House was more of a long shot, therefore giving a higher payout, so his betters were no doubt thrilled.) But the Kentucky Derby is also an event rooted in tradition-like the traditions of fancy hats and lots of booze-and the crowd was full of people booing, presumably just because they didn't like the deviation from the normal flow.

Mott had a personal stake in the stewards' decision, but he wasn't the only trainer who said the track officials got the call right.

The Derby is the first leg of the famous Triple Crown, which moves on to the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore on May 18 before the final leg at Belmont Park, on Long Island on June 8.

He wrote: "The Kentucky Derby decision was not a good one". It was a rough & tumble race on a wet and sloppy track, actually, a lovely thing to watch. West didn't want to burden his colt with the Triple Crown off the table. He continued, "Only in the days of political correctness could such an overturn occur".

A scary spill for a filly and jockey opened Friday's Kentucky Oaks for fillies, and victor Serengeti Empress won her first start since pulling up in her previous race because of external bleeding.

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