Country House Wins the 145th Kentucky Derby Over Maximum Security in Historic Reversal
Maximum Security was first named the winner, but minutes later, an inquiry ruling named Country House as the official victor
After a stunning turn of events, Country House is the winner of the 145th Kentucky Derby!
The champion, who was a longshot at 65-1, and jockey Flavien Prat beat out 19 other competitors in the Churchill Downs race in Louisville on Saturday evening.
Maximum Security was first named the winner, but minutes later, an inquiry ruling named Country House as the official victor.
After the race, Prat filed a rider’s objection claiming Maximum Security had impeded the path in the final turn. The objection was upheld following an extensive review.
This was the first time a horse crossing the line first has been disqualified.
Justify won the Kentucky Derby and went on to win the Triple Crown in 2018.
Coming into this year’s race, Omaha Beach was the predicted favorite to take the title, according to CBS Sports, with 4-1 odds. Unfortunately, just days before the race, the star horse was pulled from the event, his trainer Richard Mandella confirmed, according to ESPN.
After a persistent cough led the team to examine the thoroughbred, they discovered Omaha Beach was suffering from an entrapped epiglottis, which can cause difficulties in breathing and would have made competing in the derby difficult, Mandella explained. An entrapped epiglottis only requires a minor operation to correct, but, unfortunately, it was not in time for the event.
The Associated Press reported that Omaha Beach, who just turned 3 in April, would undergo surgery in Kentucky last week.
Following Omaha Beach in the rankings was Roadster (5-1), Game Winner (5-1) and Improbable (6-1), all three-time race winners.
Last year’s race — which was considered the wettest derby yet — was won by Justify, who crossed the finish line 2:04.20 and beat second-place Good Magic and third-place Audible. Securing the Kentucky Derby’s jewel earned Justify’s team the guaranteed $2 million purse that was up for grabs.
Racing fans will now be intrigued to see if Country House can pull off the Triple Crown, a.k.a. winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes all in the same year. That feat has only been accomplished 13 times, but was done so just last year by Justify.
With the Kentucky Derby decided, Country House has two races to go to try and complete the Triple Crown: the Preakness Stakes, scheduled for May 18, and the Belmont Stakes on June 8.