After Maximum Security finished first Saturday and was declared the victor, a video review showed the horse bumping into the second-place finisher, Country House, on the final turn.
Country House is this year’s contender to win thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown – but only after the horse that crossed the wire first in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, Maximum Security, was disqualified.
“I made an objection because when I made my move around the [final] turn I thought I was pushed out from the inside and so as we crossed the finish line and I pulled up my horse, I was waiting to see if there was any inquiry because I thought it was a pretty wide movement”, Prat explained.
The fastest two minutes in sports turned into the longest 22 minutes of waiting for an official result after an objection call by two jockeys caused the stewards to overturn the initial decision and crown Country House the Kentucky Derby champion. He also wondered why the stewards didn’t take questions from reporters Saturday, instead reading a statement that he claimed was written by lawyers.
West also said he found it unusual that the stewards did not file a stewards’ inquiry.
“There’s an extreme lack of transparency with the stewards”, he said.
West added, “I said, ‘We’ll stay here until 11, 12 o’clock at night, whatever you want, ‘ and they said, ‘Absolutely not, we won’t be showing the films until Thursday.’ We didn’t really have any alternative legally… the appeal has to be filed within 48 hours”.
West then pointed the finger at the Kentucky Derby for allowing 20 horses in the race (there were 19 after two scratches), while the Kentucky Oaks and other top races have 14 competitors on the track. Forward Pass got the winner’s share.
“The Kentucky Derby decision was not a good one”, Trump tweeted. Trump said on Twitter: “It was a rough and tumble race on a wet and sloppy track, actually, a handsome thing to watch”.
Only in these days of political correctness could such an overturn occur. Plus, trainer Bob Baffert – who had three horses in the Kentucky Derby – said Monday that all three came out of the race well but only Improbable (one of the Derby favorites who finished fourth after getting penned in at the start of the race) is under Preakness consideration “right now”.
Country House was running to the outside of those horses. And now, the focus during the run-up to the Preakness will be on what’s happening off the track. “Why this is such a great controversy is because the best horse won the race”. Now racing moves to the Preakness and Pimlico, where almost 6,700 seats at the dilapidated track have been deemed unsafe and will be unavailable.
West also said there would be no rematch with Country Horse in the second leg of US thoroughbred horse racing’s Triple Crown, the May 18 Preakness Stakes at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course. “Maximum Security moves off that rail, comes out, impedes the path of War of Will, gets in the way of Long Rainge Toddy and Country House”, Tirico said.
(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.