Photo credit: @KentuckyDerby
By: Ana Kieu
For horse racing fans, the Kentucky Derby is the greatest two minutes in sports. This year’s was Country House. Last year’s winner was Justify.
Rain poured in Louisville, Ky. for about an hour before the post time. As a result, officials were forced to downgrade the track condition to sloppy for the third year in a row.
Despite a muddy track at Churchill Downs, the 65-1 Country House won the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. Country House, however, was technically not supposed to be the winner. The favorite, Omaha Beach, was pulled out of the race days ago.
There was a controversial objection on the field and the officials reviewed a light touch between Maximum Security and Country House. Jockeys briefed while the judges watched replays of the race. The official results and payouts were determined after the completed objection review.
The initial winner was Maximum Security, who was immediately disqualified after the objective review. Maximum Security was 4-1.
During the objection review process, Maximum Security jockey Luis Saez told NBC that he did all he could to help his horse stay straight after he became scared of the muddy surface.
Maximum Security trainer Jason Servis said, “He straightened up right away and I don’t think it affected the outcome of the race.” Servis reportedly prayed to the racing gods.
This was the first time in Kentucky Derby history where the horse who finished first was disqualified.