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horse racing
Country House back at the barn on the day after the Kentucky Derby

2019 Kentucky Derby Follow-up

Date: 05/05/2019

The 145th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby (G1) Presented by Woodford Reserve is in the history books, and it was definitely historic as Country House became the first Kentucky Derby winner given the win on race day via disqualification, after Maximum Security was taken down for interference at the 5/16ths and placed 17th. The only other disqualification of a winner in the Derby was in 1968 when first place finisher Dancer's Image was disqualified to last place due to a drug positive, moving runner-up Forward Pass to first place as the official winner.

horse racing
Trainer Bill Mott gave interviews and showed off Country House at his barn on Sunday morning.
While trainer Bill Mott was certainly due for a Kentucky Derby winner, he most likely never thought he would get one this way. He is also the trainer of Tacitus who was moved up to third place after the disqualification. Mott said, "I saw Jason (Servis) as we crossed the track leaving the tunnel after the race. He was very gracious and said congratulations. I said I'm sorry it happened this way. Jason is a professional and I'm sure he's a great horseman. I'm sure he feels terrible, but it is what it is."

While the disqualification was not popular with the fans, leading to much loud booing from the stands, Mott said, "I really believe that the call that was made yesterday really shows the integrity of sport. It wasn't an easy call, but if they let that go yesterday, I think it would have been much more talked about. I don't know when the objection was lodged. I spoke to Jose (Ortiz), who told me that he thought for sure that (Maximum Security) would come down and Jose being behind them had the best view of all. I sent Flavien (Prat) to the phone to get in there and talk to (the stewards). It was mostly based on what Jose said. Then, of course, I had to look at the films like everyone else."

horse racing
Country House poses for the media on Sunday morning.
Mott, who saddled his first Kentucky Derby starter in 1984 and got his first victory Saturday, said, "I thought (Country House) had the effort in him and I was very surprised that he broke and was as close as he was early. I would have thought it would have been the other way around with Tacitus up where Country House was and Country House in the back where Tacitus was-but that's why it's so interesting. You don't know what is going to happen."

Mott continued, "I'm thrilled with (Country House) and I'm happy for everyone who has worked with the horse and I think they deserved the win. It's just such an unusual way to have to go to the winner's circle and win a Kentucky Derby. This Kentucky Derby will be talked about for a long time, up there with Shoemaker standing up at the sixteenth pole (in 1957 on Gallant Man). It's one of those things that's not going to go away. We're going to take the win and hopefully we come back and Country House runs big in the future, whatever race it may be-whether it's the Preakness, Belmont, Travers-whatever it is. You hope he continues to show the quality horse that he is."

horse racing
Country House walks the shedrow in his winner's blanket on Sunday morning.
If Country House competes in the Preakness (May 18), it will be his fourth race in eight weeks' time, following the Louisiana Derby (March 23), Arkansas Derby (April 13) and yesterday's Kentucky Derby. "The discussion (about the Preakness) is going to start in the next day or two, I'm sure," Mott said. "People want to see the Derby winner in the Preakness. Certainly, for Country House, there's some pressure to go. With Tacitus, there isn't any and we are well-suited with him to go to the Belmont."

Mott continued, "(With Country House) we're talking about a horse who has had quite a few races in a short period of time, if he runs in the Preakness. It may compromise his chances a bit and it's not a normal situation to run so often, but the Triple Crown is not a normal situation. It never has been and I don't think they should space them out any more. The challenge of the Triple Crown is that it's three races really close together and it takes a champion. It takes a Justify to win those kinds of races."

horse racing
Country House in his stall on Sunday morning.
2019 Triple Crown quick links:

  • Kentucky Derby official site - lots of good info and the latest news here
  • Louisville Courier Journal coverage - one of your best news sources for the Derby
  • Blood Horse Triple Crown Mania - lots of good info here
  • DRF Kentucky Derby Special - Lots of good info like past winners preps, contenders, past performances, and latest news.
  • Review: Kentucky Derby Greatest Moments - Commemorative DVD from Churchill Downs with video from 27 different runnings along with interviews, photos, and historical info. Definitely recommended for any racing fan!
  • Review: Churchill Downs - America's Most Historic Racetrack by Kimberly Gatto. An entertaining and informative account of the history of the track and it's most famous race, the Kentucky Derby, with lots of photos. Definitely recommended.
  • Review: Kentucky Derby Glasses Price Guide - A Comprehensive Guide to Collecting Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Glasses and Shot Glasses edited by Judy Marchman
  • Triple Crown Trivia Quiz - test your knowledge of the Derby, Preakness, and Belmont and compete with others.
  • Buy advance tickets for the Derby and Oaks - from Churchill Downs and save $5 over the gate price on general admission
  • Triple Crown Index - the master list with even more info
  • Triple Crown Trivia Quiz - test your knowledge of the Derby, Preakness, and Belmont and compete with others.
  • Send this page to a friend - know someone who would like to see this page? Click here to send them the link.

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