Country House has pulled off a huge upset in the Kentucky Derby as stewards awarded the 65-1 long shot the victory following an objection that Maximum Security, the first horse to cross the finish line, interfered with the path of several horses.
Maximum Security had appeared to win the 145th Derby by 1¾ lengths in the mud after taking control out of the final turn. The objection was filed and stewards took about 20 minutes reviewing the race from several angles before declaring Country House the winner. Jockey Flavien Prat then celebrated as the finish was announced to the surprised crowd of 157,729.
Code of Honor was second, with Tacitus third.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) May 4, 2019
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.
It may have been the 145th Run for the Roses, but there were several firsts. Koichi Tsunoda‘s longshot 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.
Maximum Security will go for the second leg of the Triple Crown at the 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 become the 13th horse to win the Triple Crown and Bob Baffert’s second, coming just three years after American Pharoah’s 2015 campaign.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.