Country House is the winner of the 2019 Kentucky Derby despite 65 to 1 odds. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the horse is owned by Maury Shields, Guinness McFadden, Larry Foxwood, Nanci Foxwood and their daughter Jamie Roth. The horse was not purchased at an auction so the price has not been released. Shields is the widow to Joseph Shields Jr. who died in 2018 at the age of 80.
Country House wore the No. 20 which stood for his post position in the race. Country House’s trainer Bill Mott won his first Kentucky Derby, but it was not without controversy after Maximum Security was disqualified. Country House’s pedigree includes sire Lookin’ at Lucky and dam Quake Lake, per Horse Racing Nation. Lookin’ at Lucky won the 2010 Preakness and Rebel Stakes. Ironically, Country House’s sire was trained by Bob Baffert and the horse ended up edging out three of the legendary trainer’s horses at Churchill Downs.
While Mott won his first Kentucky Derby, the circumstances were less than ideal. The trophy presentation was met with boos at Churchill Downs.
“There’s over 100,000 people here and I know they wish they didn’t have to make that call,” Mott said, per the Lexington Herald-Leader. “ … But it’s their duty to do the right thing, and I hope they do. It was an odd way to do it and we hate to back into anything. It’s a bittersweet victory, but I gotta say our horse ran very well. Our jockey rode very well, and I’m thrilled to death for all the connections. I think they’re very deserving, we’ll just have to prove ourselves in the future.”
Country House’s Name Came From One of the Owner’s Aunts
Country’s House’s name is exactly what it sounds like. According to the Courier-Journal, McFadden’s aunt liked a “house in the country” and the group needed a name for the horse.
“My aunt just liked the idea of a house in the country, and that’s the way it came about – Country House,” McFadden told the Courier-Journal. “(Trainer Bill Mott) needed to run the horse, so he needed a name. I think they had that name waiting for a good one.”
The Courier-Journal provided a bit more background on the owners.
About Mrs. J.V Shields Jr.: Maury Shields is the widow of Joseph V. Shields Jr., who died last year at the age of 80. She worked in special client services at Sotheby’s and is the daughter of Flowers Foods founder William Howard Flowers Jr. (Wonder Bread, Sunbeam, Tastykake, etc.)…
About E.J.M McFadden Jr.: Guinness McFadden, a nephew of Mrs. Shields, grew up on a family farm in Northern California and after college began working at Three Chimneys Farm in Lexington where he eventually became director of sales before becoming co-owner of Blackwood Stables.
About LNJ Foxwoods: LNJ stands for parents Larry and Nanci and daughter Jaime Roth. Larry Roth is a co-founder of Marchon Eyewear, which was purchased by VSP in 2008 for $735 million with Roth retaining an executive position to help lead the company. Jaime Roth runs the family stable, established in 2012.
Country House’s Trainer: Bill Mott
Mott has earned $274.36 million over his career and has 27 victories along with 72 top-three finishes, per America’s Best Racing. Prior to his Kentucky Derby win, Mott was best known for training Cigar, who won 16 consecutive races in 1995-96.