Country House wins Kentucky Derby as Maximum Security disqualified


Los Angeles (AFP)

Country House, a 65-1 longshot, won the 145th Kentucky Derby on Saturday after the unprecedented disqualification of wire-to-wire leader Maximum Security.

Maximum Security, trained by John Servis and ridden by Luis Saez, was running comfortably in front on the sloppy Churchill Downs track in Louisville, Kentucky, but the colt moved sharply out from the rail as the field turned for home.

After an objection and a 20-minute review, he was ruled to have interfered with War of Will in a move that stewards ultimately judged signficantly affected the outcome of the race.

The stunning result gave trainer Bill Mott a first Kentucky Derby victory at the age of 65. French jockey Flavien Prat, who originated the steward's inquiry, also won his first Derby.

It was the first time that the horse that crossed the line first was disqualified for interference from the Kentucky Derby.

Code of Honor finished second after the disqualification, followed by Tacitus.

"We had a pretty good trip and then when I came around the turn I was outside and all of a sudden there was a real move from the inside to the outside," Prat recalled as trainers, jockeys and a crowd of 150,729 waited in suspense for the outcome of the stewards' inquiry.

"They kind of pushed me sideways," he said. "But then, after that, I had a fair run."

Panamanian jockey Saez said Maximum Security, who had won all four of his prior starts, was startled turning for home by the roar of the crowd.

Saez thought he had steadied his mount before any harm was done, but he ended up 17th in the 19-horse field.