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First finisher Maximum Security is disqualified; Country House, a 65-1 long shot, declared Kentucky Derby winner

Posted: 7:28 PM, May 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-04 19:51:14-04
145th Kentucky Derby

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Maximum Security led all the way in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, only to become the first winner disqualified for interference in the race's 145-year history. After a long wait, long shot Country House was declared the winner.

Country House, a 65-1 shot, finished second in the slop before an objection was raised, causing a lengthy delay while stewards repeatedly reviewed several angles of video footage, before he was elevated into the winner's circle.

Stewards awarded the 65-1 long shot the victory following an objection that Maximum Security, the first horse to cross the finish line, interfered with the path of several horses.

Maximum Security had appeared to win the 145th Derby by 1¾ lengths in the mud after taking control out of the final turn. The objection was filed and stewards took about 20 minutes reviewing the race from several angles before declaring Country House the winner.

Jockey Flavien Prat then celebrated as the finish was announced to the surprised crowd of 157,729. The stunning outcome gave Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott his first Derby victory at age 65. Jockey Flavien Prat, who originated the claim of foul, also won his first Derby.

Country House paid $132.40 to win — the second-highest payout in Derby history.

It was a crushing turn of events for trainer Jason Servis and jockey Luis Saez, who already had begun celebrating what they thought were their first Derby victories.

Instead, Maximum Security was dropped to 17th of 19 horses. The colt was the 9-2 second choice in the wagering.

Prat claimed that Maximum Security ducked out in the final turn and forced several horses to steady.

War of Will came perilously close to clipping heels with Maximum Security, which could have caused a chain-reaction accident.

The stewards reviewed race footage for nearly 20 minutes while keeping the crowd of 150,729 in suspense, clutching their betting tickets. Trainers and jockeys involved stared at the closest video screen waiting for a result.

Code of Honor was moved up to second and Tacitus was third.

Improbable was fourth and Game Winner fifth, two of trainer Bob Baffert's trio of entries.

Heavy rain caused the main dirt track at Churchill Downs to be downgraded from fast to sloppy for the Kentucky Derby.

Bad weather that was expected arrived about three hours before post time. Rain fell harder as race time grew closer, making for a tough trek for the handlers and connections as they marched from the backside barn area around to the front stretch.