145th Kentucky Derby

Country House will not run in Preakness Stakes

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Kentucky Derby winner Country House won’t be attempting a Triple Crown run this year after coughing and showing signs of a burgeoning illness, Jay Privman of the Daily Racing Form reports. Assistant trainer Riley Mott confirmed to the Associated Press that the 3-year-old colt will not race in the Preakness Stakes on May 18.

Still at Churchill Downs, trainer Bill Mott told Privman that Country House, who was named the 145th Kentucky Derby winner after the historic disqualification of Maximum Security, was pulled off his training list: “If he’s off the training list, he’s off the Preakness list.”

“It’s probably a little viral thing,” Mott also told Privman. “Hopefully it doesn’t develop into anything serious. Usually when something like this happens, a horse misses a couple weeks of training. He’s not seriously sick right now. But he’s showing indications that something is going on.”

It’s been quite a week for Country House. The 65-1 long shot colt was the second over the wire at Churchill on Saturday, but was elevated to first after track stewards determined Maximum Security had impeded several other horses in the field. On Monday, trainer Jason Servis announced that Maximum Security would also skip the Preakness.

This was the first time in the Kentucky Derby’s 145-year history that the winner was disqualified on site. Dancer’s Image, the first horse to finish in 1968, was disqualified long after the race ended for having too much phenylbutazone, an anti-inflammatory drug, in his system.

Country House wins the 2019 Kentucky Derby after Maximum Security disqualified


Country House, jockeyed by Flavien Prat and trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, was named the winner of the 2019 Kentucky Derby after it was ruled that post time favorite Maximum Security made a move that significantly changed the outcome of the race. This is the first Derby win for both jockey and trainer.

Maximum Security crossed the finish line a length and a half ahead of Country House, but just after the race, officials began reviewing tape. They ruled that on the final turn, Maximum Security moved out of his lane and bumped his hind right leg into War of Will, who went on to cross the finish line eighth (seventh after the ruling). For the first time ever, the horse that made it to the wire first was disqualified on-site.

According to the Associated Press, Prat raised the objection.

After Maximum Security’s disqualification, Code of Honor finished second and Tacitus, also trained by Mott, was third. See the full results here.

“No word can describe it,” Prat said of his unexpected and historic win. “It’s amazing.”

While Maximum Security led wire to wire, Country House was a long shot on the outside looking in until the closer began to pick through the field, eventually finding himself at the front of the pack down the stretch.

“I really lost my momentum around the turn,” Prat told NBC. “I thought after that I was going to win, but it kind of cost me, actually.”

With 65-1 post time odds, Country House paid $132.40 to win, according to the Associated Press.

“It feels pretty darn good,” Mott told the Associated Press. “It was an odd way to do it and we hate to back into any of these things. We’ll just have to prove ourselves in the future.”

After a disappointing fourth place finish in the Louisiana Derby, Country House defied a quick turn around to run third in the Arkansas Derby and qualify for the Derby. In six starts, he had one win, two seconds and one third for $260,175 in total career earnings. The Kentucky-bred horse is jointly owned by Maury Shields, Eugene “Guinness” McFadden and LNJ Foxwoods.

“It’s a pretty big deal,” said McFadden when asked about what this victory meant to former owner, and McFadden’s late uncle, Jerry Shields. “I can’t really put into words what it means to us. He was special.”

Maximum Security’s disqualification was only the second ever in Kentucky Derby history. In 1968, Dancer’s Image failed a drug test and was disqualified long after the race ended.

Gary West, co-owner of Maximum Security, criticized race stewards’ disqualification of his horse’s Kentucky Derby victory. “I think this is the most egregious disqualification in the history of horse racing, and not just because it’s our horse,” West told The Associated Press.

After the post position draw, Omaha Beach was the early 4-1 favorite with jockey Mike Smith aboard, but scratched after an entrapped epiglottis made breathing difficult for the morning line favorite. Bodexpress moved into the race as the No. 21 horse after the scratch.

Hall of Famer Smith, who initially passed on riding Bob Baffert‘s horse Roadster, accepted a ride on Cutting Humor who finished 11th.

Two-time Triple Crown winner Baffert finished Improbable at fourth, Game Winner at fifth and Roadster at 15th.

It may have been the 145th Run for the Roses, but the on-site disqualification of a winner was not the only first. Koichi Tsunoda‘s long shot Master Fencer became the first Japan-bred horse to run in the Derby. At the age of 58, Long Range Toddy‘s jockey Jon Court became the oldest person to ride in the Kentucky Derby.

Country House will go for the second leg of the Triple Crown at the 144th Preakness Stakes on May 18 on NBC and the NBC Sports app. The 151st Belmont Stakes will round out NBC’s coverage of the Triple Crown on June 8.

Last year, Baffert’s horse Justify won the 144th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs with Mike Smith. Owned by WinStar Farm, he became the 13th horse to win the Triple Crown and Bob Baffert’s second, coming just three years after American Pharoah’s 2015 campaign.

Contributing: Associated Press

What to know about the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby


The Kentucky Derby is one of the most iconic sporting events in the world. Every year, millions of fans tune into NBC to watch top race horses from around the globe compete in “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports.”

What is the Kentucky Derby? The Kentucky Derby, run the first Saturday in May, is one of the most well known Grade 1 Thoroughbred stakes races in the world. First run in 1875, this 1 1/4 mile—or 10 furlongs—race kicks off the American Triple Crown of horse racing.

When and where is the 2019 Kentucky Derby? The 145th running of the Kentucky Derby is on Saturday, May 4, 2019 with a post time of 6:50 p.m. ET.

The Derby is run on the dirt track at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, where it has been held since its inaugural running in 1875.

How can I watch the 2019 Kentucky Derby? NBC is home to the 145th Kentucky Derby, providing comprehensive race coverage and analysis live on TV and NBCSports.com before, during and after. NBC will also broadcast the 2019 Preakness Stakes and 2019 Belmont Stakes. See the broadcast schedule here.

How are horses picked for the Derby? Only 3-year-old Thoroughbreds can qualify for the Kentucky Derby. Eligible horses compete in the Race to the Kentucky Derby, a series of 35 races around the world. Horses win points for finishing in the top four spots, and the 20 horses with the most points at the end of the series gain entry into the Derby. (However, sometimes horses will scratch, giving another the opportunity to run in the Derby.) Wood Memorial winner Tacitus topped the field with 150 points.

On Tuesday, April 30, all 20 horses were assigned a starting position. See the post positions for the 2019 Kentucky Derby here.

Who are the horses to watch?

  • Two-time Triple Crown winner Bob Baffert fields Roadster, Game Winner and Improbable. However, Roadster will be without jockey Mike Smith.
  • After then-favorite Omaha Beach scratched on Wednesday, May 1, his Triple Crown-winning jockey Mike Smith accepted a ride on Cutting Humor.
  • Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott will look for his first Derby win in Wood Memorial winner Tacitus.
  • Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby competitor Master Fencer isn’t expected to be a serious contender but will become the first Japanese-bred horse to run in the Derby.
  • Jon CourtLong Range Toddy‘s rider, will become the oldest jockey to ride in Derby at age 58.
  • With Omaha Beach out, Bodexpress earned entry into the Derby at 30-1 odds. He is the son of Bodemeister, who finished second in both the 2012 Kentucky Derby and 2012 Preakness Stakes.

Who won the 2018 Kentucky Derby? WinStar Farm’s colt Justify, trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Mike Smith, won the 144th Kentucky Derby. He went on to win the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, becoming the 13th horse ever to win the Triple Crown.

What are the biggest Kentucky Derby traditions? Bold formal outfits for both men and women are synonymous with the Kentucky Derby. Celebrities and fans a like go all out, donning creative and colorful hats, bright colors and wild patterns. In fact, hats and outfits are such a big part of the Kentucky Derby that the Derby Museum has a whole exhibit for the most lavished fashions.

The Mint Julep, made with Kentucky bourbon, is the signature drink of the Derby, and Kentucky’s state song “My Old Kentucky Home” is played during the pre-race post parade. After the race, the champion horse is given the iconic garland of roses in the winner’s circle.

Betting and horse racing go hand in hand. There will be a whole weekend of stacked racing cards at Churchill Downs, but the Kentucky Derby takes the betting cake. Find out everything you need to know about betting on the 2019 Kentucky Derby here.

What else is there to do during Derby Weekend? NBC will also broadcast the Kentucky Oaks, a Grade 1 stakes race held annually the day before the Kentucky Derby. The Oaks has the same 3-year-old restriction as the Derby but is for fillies only. See the broadcast schedule here and a betting guide here. NBC Sports BET will also stream a digital exclusive gambling show at 5 ET for your last minute betting needs. Additionally, there is a week of events at Churchill Downs, and the month-long Kentucky Derby Festival celebrated across Louisville.