2019 Kentucky Derby

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The 2019 Kentucky is the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby and took place on Saturday, May 4, 2019, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Country House, far left in front pack, became the 2019 Kentucky Derby winner after Maximum Security, second from right, crossed the finish line first but was later disqualified for interference.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The stewards, or racing officials who enforce the rules and regulations at racetracks, decided to disqualify Maximum Security, the clear winner of the race, in favor of runner-up Country House, marking the first time in the history of the Kentucky Derby that  the winner was disqualified for an in-race foul.

Maximum Security

The stewards disqualified Maximum Security from first place for drifting into the path of War of Will, who in turn had to alter course and affected several other horses. Maximum Security was dropped to 17th place behind Long Range Toddy, who it was determined had been affected by the dustup.

Kentucky Derby is the biggest wagering race in North America and one of the most famous races in the world. The decision took twenty two minutes for the stewards before announcing their decision. More than $6.2 million had been placed on Maximum Security to win.

President Donald J.Trump also expressed his views about unexpected results tweeting that the “best horse did NOT win the Kentucky Derby” and chalking it up to “political correctness.”

The only other disqualification in the race’s history occurred after the fact, when Dancer’s Image was disqualified for failing a drug test in 1968. The jockeys of Country House and Long Range Toddy both placed objections against Maximum Security.