Maximum Security was accused of nudging the leg of War of Will, leading to a stunning disqualification after Maximum Security crossed the finish line first in the 2019 Kentucky Derby.
That led the judges to declare Country House the Derby winner, stoking controversy. You can read more about Maximum Security’s disqualification here.
You can see a slow-motion video of the moment here:
Here’s what you need to know:
Country House’s Jockey Filed the Objection
Flavien Prat, the French-born jockey riding Country House, filed the objection that led to the disqualification of Country House, according to AOL. You can read more about Flavien Prat here. He’s been racing since 2009.
According to the Kentucky Derby “Prat committed to American Thoroughbred horse racing and began to generate impressive results almost immediately.” That was in 2015. That was his first full season in the United States.
He claimed that Maximum Security impeded War of Will, a horse that placed eighth in the race. According to AOL, the replay shows “Maximum Security did step out from his line near the rail, veering in front of War of Will.”
Country Horse had 65-1 odds going into the 2019 Kentucky Derby.
As ESPN described it, Prat alleged that Maximum Security “ducked out in the final turn and forced several horses to steady.”
Maximum Security had been undefeated going into the Kentucky Derby.
The Ruling Was Controversial
According to ESPN, Jason Servis, the trainer of Maximum Security, and the horse’s jockey Luis Saez, were already celebrating the perceived victory before it was snatched away.
Some people were upset with the ruling. “Wrong horse won but they did follow the rules. War of Will was fouled…actual contact and 7 was not clear. Too bad that allowed Mott & Co to claim foul …. took advantage of the “rules” #wronghorsewon,” wrote one man on Twitter.
“IMO War of Will had a better chance to beat Max Security than Country House. Why wouldn’t Tyler file a claim? I know he couldn’t have won but integrity of the sport. Why leave the objection to Country House,” wrote another person.
“Horrible way to win the Kentucky Derby. If anything, War Of Will was the winner and was the horse to draw an inquiry from. @NBCSports @KentuckyDerby bad call. Please review and overturn tomorrow. There has been precedent for this,” a man wrote.
Wrote a woman, “So why isnt anyone talking about the fact that country house wouldnt have even taken 2nd if it wasnt for #WarOfWill slowing? if we’re going to knit pick perhaps country house shouldnt be the one disputing much less winning when he in fact was in 5th place prior to the ‘incident.'”
Another man concluded, “I see your point about the start of the race. If you have to dq the winner, the next horse takes the win. I hate the call but I see why it was made. If War of Will would have went down which he’s lucky he did not I think it would be easier to see why MS had to come down.”