Kentucky Derby Jockey Speaks Out About Shocking Victory After Maximum Security's Disqualification
"It felt pretty good, it's a great moment, a dream come true," said jockey Flavien Prat
Jockey Flavien Prat is addressing Country House’s shocking victory at the 145th Kentucky Derby.
During Saturday’s competition, Country House and the French-born jockey beat out 19 other competitors in the Churchill Downs race in Louisville.
The win came after Maximum Security was first named the winner. But minutes later, an inquiry ruling named Country House, who was a longshot at 65-1, 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.
“It felt pretty good, it’s a great moment, a dream come true,” Prat, 26, said during a press conference following the victory. “It’s amazing, there’s no race like the Derby. One day I hoped to ride the Derby and win it, and it’s done today.”
A spokesperson for the Kentucky Derby did not immediately return to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
“We never made contact because there were horses between us. The horse on the inside hit my horse and I kind of lost momentum. The horses between Country House and Maximum Security were affected,” Prat said.
“Once I got him outside, I made my move and Maximum Security started to drift out and the two horses inside had more trouble than I did, but it affected me anyway,” he explained.
“I was just hoping to get placed as the winner. It took quite long,” Prat said about waiting for the review to be completed by Derby officials. “Usually when it takes so long it’s a good sign.”
This was the first time a horse crossing the line first has been disqualified.
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.
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.