Kentucky Derby history was made at Churchill Downs in Louisville on Saturday. Maximum Security led nearly wire-to-wire in the Run of the Roses, but a ruling upon objection caused the horse to be the first winner ever disqualified in the American Triple Crown race for a riders' objection.
So yes, Country House has won the 2019 Kentucky Derby. The second-biggest underdog ever to win at 65-1 came out ahead in part because it stayed wide while previously undefeated Maximum Security caused a ruckus inside. Code of Honor finished second, and Tacitus was third in the rectified results.
Country House likely was not impacted as Maximum Security left its lane, but Country House's team (his jockey was Flavien Prat, and his trainer William I. Mott) pulled the objection because of a wide swing that likely caused War of Will and possibly other horses to slow down. The winner of a Kentucky Derby never had been disqualified.
Maximum Security took an early lead as many expected on the wet track and led for most of the early going, which was expected by SportsLine horse-racing expert Hank Goldberg. He held it all the way, only to see the victory taken by review.
2019 Kentucky Derby Final Results
1. Country House
2. Code of Honor
5. Game Winner
6. Master Fencer
7. War of Will
8. Plus Que Parfait
9. Win Win Win
10. Cutting Humor
11. By My Standards
16. Long Range Toddy
18. Gray Magician
DQ: Maximum Security
Kentucky Derby payout information
- Country House, 65-1 — WIN $132.40, PLACE $56.60, SHOW $24.60
- Code of Honor, 14-1 — PLACE $15.20 SHOW $9.80
- Tacitus, 5-1 — SHOW $5.60
- $2 exacta — $3,009.60
- $1 trifecta — $11,475.30
- $1 superfecta — $51,400.10
This is the second straight year the Derby was held on a sloppy track after record rainfall drenched Churchill Downs in 2018. The weather didn't exactly put a damper on the previous winner, either, as Justify not only snapped a more than 100-year-old Apollo Curse but went on to win the American Triple Crown thanks in part due to his performance in muddy Louisville. The win marked the fifth career Kentucky Derby victory for trainer Bob Baffert, who had three different horses in Saturday's competition.
An annual Grade I stakes race and the first leg of the Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby has been held every year since its first running in 1875. The unofficial Super Bowl of American horse racing, it's on the highest level of North American competition and is one of the most well-attended events in all of sports -- deemed the "Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports."
Before this year, the last five Derby winners are as follows: Justify, Always Dreaming, Nyquist, American Pharoah and California Chrome. Like Justify, American Pharoah also won the Triple Crown for Baffert and became the first horse to win the Grand Slam of Thoroughbred racing.
The Preakness Stakes is the next race in the American Triple Crown series, and it will be at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on Saturday, May 18.