Country House wins 2019 Kentucky Derby after Maximum Security disqualified

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LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY – MAY 02: Country House trains on the track during morning workouts in preparation for the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 2, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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.

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