LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Longshot Country House crossed the finish line second at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday but was declared the winner after pre-race favorite Maximum Security was disqualified.
It was the first time a Derby winner was disqualified by a stewards’ ruling. In 1968 Dancer’s Image won but failed a drug test and was placed 14th.
“I’m kinda speechless right now. It’s a weird feeling but it’s a good one,” winning jockey Flavien Prat told race broadcaster NBC.
Country House had 65 to 1 odds.
Code of Honor moved to second.
“This was my dream. I just feel so glad,” Saez had told NBC after the apparent victory.
Saez said the horse had a good race until he got to the home stretch and the noise of the crowd of 150,729 fans unnerved the horse.
“He started getting a little bit scared,” Saez said. “But then I grabbed him and I controlled him. And I kept fighting because I know he’s a real fighter.”
It was there Maximum Security appeared to make contact with another horse.
There were 19 horses in the field on a rainy day. The track conditions were listed as sloppy.
The next race in the Triple Crown series is May 18 — the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. The Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York, is June 8 at Belmont Park.