After examining video and interviewing the jockeys, the officials disqualified first-place finisher MAXIMUM SECURITY for interference at the top of the stretch, and then elevated COUNTRY HOUSE to just the second Win of his career.
The decision cost trainer Jason Servis and jockey Luis Saez their first Kentucky Derby Win, which in turn gave trainer Bill Mott and jockey Flavien Pratt their first.
CODE OF HONOR was elevated to 2nd and TACITUS to 3rd in the 1 1/4-miles race, which for the third straight year was over a wet track. MAXIMUM SECURITY was placed 17th in the field of 19, behind LONG RANGE TODDY, who was also ruled to have been slowed by the infraction.
Jockey Saez admitted MAXIMUM SECURITY “came out a little,” and was likely spooked by the roar of the infield crowd. “I grabbed him. He never put nobody in danger,” Saez argued.
“We had a lengthy review of the race. We interviewed affected riders. We determined that the 7 horse (MAXIMUM SECURITY) drifted out and impacted the progress of Number 1 (WAR OF WILL), in turn, interfering with the 18 (LONG RANGE TODDY) and 21 (BODEXPRESS). Those horses were all affected, we thought, by the interference.
“Therefore, we unanimously determined to disqualify Number 7 and place him behind the 18, the 18 being the lowest placed horse that he bothered, which is our typical procedure.”
Long-shot players were happier. The $2 win payout for COUNTRY HOUSE of $132.40 was the second-biggest in history, behind only DONERAIL, who started at odds of 91-1 in 1913. A $2 Exacta Wager with COUNTRY HOUSE and CODE OF HONOR returned $3,009.60 and a Winning 50-cent trifecta ticket was worth $5,737.65. Those are darn good R.O.I.’s.
The Daily Racing Blog feels it was a judgement call by the stewards, and that they got it wrong. Given that it was not a Stewards Inquiry, but a Jockey Objection, and that the jockey objection was brought on by a rider barely affected by the interference, the 2019 Kentucky Derby seems tainted. What do you think ?
3 thoughts on “Kentucky Derby (Fair Or Foul?)”
I thought Barbara Borden’s statement also stated that Jon Court rider of Long Range Toddy also filed an objection. If that is true, then I feel the Stewards got it right.
I’m heavily conflicted on this one. I had Max to win and the Max/Country House exacta so the take down cost me a bucket money. But thank God Gafflione was more in control of his horse than Saez was of his. The carnage of a 6 to 8 horse pile up on national tv at the biggest event of the season may have been the final nail in this dying sports coffin. Max clearly interfered with War of Will who seemed to be making a move. Whether he could have sustained it or even run down Max is up for debate.
I don’t think Saez is shouldering enough of the blame for the debacle.
Why Gafflione didn’t lodge the foul or why there was no stewards inquiry before the objections certainly baffle me, too.
I have to admit I think the DQ was warranted as much as it hurts to say it.
I don’t disagree Ev, and you took a good hit when #7 got taken down. In my opinion the stewards didn’t issue an inquiry because they never have…the “It’s The Derby” mentality. Once the objection was filed, well then they really had no choice. To look the other way on that would have been terrible. I think the 7 horse got spooked and Saez did the best he could. Gafflione should be lauded, not only for averting what could have been a disaster, but not claiming foul because he finished 7th and didn’t believe it would have affected his finish. And that is where I really have an issue with Pratt. He had no business claiming foul, but knowing the rules, he realizes if 7 gets taken down he moves up and adds another 120k to his pay-day. More questions which have not been addressed; why wasn’t the track sealed? Had to be at least an hour between race 11 and 12. And when will they stop having 5000 drunks in the infield? NASCAR doesn’t allow fans in pit row. Do they? And finally, let’s just stop with 20 horses and the auxiliary gate.