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.
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."
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."
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."
Country House in his stall on Sunday morning.
2019 Triple Crown quick links:
Belmont Stakes Entries - A field of 10 was entered for the 151st Belmont Stakes with Tacitus the 9-5 morning line favorite in post 9 and second choice War of Will next door in post 10. Get the entries, post positions, and free past performances here.
Belmont Stakes June 4 Photos - Preakness winner War of Will had his first gallop at Belmont Park Tuesday morning after schooling in the paddock. Check out photos here.
Belmont Stakes June 3 Photos - Preakness winner War of Will arrived at Belmont Park early Monday morning. Later in the morning, Bourbon War and Sir Winston both had gallops. Check out photos of each here.
Belmont Stakes June 1 Photos - Three of the Belmont Stakes contenders had timed works this morning at Belmont Park with Intrepid Heart going 5f in 1:00.92, Spinoff going 5f in 1:02.16, and Tax going 4f in 49.03. Check out photos of each here plus bonus Met Mile horses.
Belmont Stakes May 29 Photos - Four of the Belmont Stakes contenders were out on the track this morning at Belmont Park with Master Fencer breezing 5 furlong in 1:01.48 plus Intrepid Heart, Spinoff, and Tacitus galloping. Check out photos of each here.
Miscellaneous Preakness Photos - 21 more photos from Preakness day including Diplo parachuting in for his concert, the trophy being carried to the winner's circle, the Clydesdales, and more.
Preakness Undercard Stakes Results There were 8 other stakes on Preakness day headlined by the Dixie Stakes (G2) won by Catholic Boy, the Chick Lang Stakes (G3) won by Lexitonian, the Maryland Sprint Stakes (G3) won by New York Central, and the Gallorette (G3) won by Mitchell Road. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 8 races here.
War of Will wins the Preakness (G1) - War of Will stalked the pace then found room on the inside to win the 144th Preakness Stakes (G1) by 1 1/4 lengths over longshot Everfast with Owendale third, giving jockey Tyler Gaffalione, trainer Mark Casse, and owner Gary Barber their first Triple Crown wins. Get the results, chart, and photos here.
Black-Eyed Susan Day Results - Point of Honor ran down Ulele and Cookie Dough to win the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) at Pimlico on Friday. There were 6 other stakes on the card including the Pimlico Special (G3) won by Tenfold, the Allaire Dupont Distaff (G3) won by Mylady Curlin, and the Miss Preakness Stakes (G3) won by Covfefe. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 7 races here.
2019 Preakness Entries - A field of 13 was entered today for the 144th running of the Preakness Stakes (G1) with Improbable in post 4 the morning line favorite at 5-2. Check out the horses, post positions, odds, and free past performances here.
2019 Alibi Breakfast - The traditional Alibi Breakfast was held on Thursday May 16, before the 144th running of the Preakness Stakes. Connections of some of the 13 Preakness entrants were on hand to swap stories about their horse as well as watch the presentation of the annual awards.
Thursday Preakness Photos - Photos and comments for 12 of the Preakness horses from Thursday morning with everyone on the track except Alwaysmining and Win Win Win who arrived late in the morning.
Wednesday Preakness Photos - Photos and comments for 10 of the Preakness horses from Wednesday morning and afternoon at Pimlico, including Improbable arriving at the track.
Tuesday Preakness Photos - Photos and comments for four of the Preakness horses from Tuesday afternoon at Pimlico, including War of Will, Market King, Bodexpress, and Signalman who arrived at the track today plus bonus pic of the Budweiser Clydesdales.
Preakness Weather Forecasts - What will the weather be for the Preakness? Check out several sources here. Currently looking pretty good with no rain unlike last year.
Analyzing the top Preakness Contenders - Our annual analysis of the contenders to see who best matches the profile of a Preakness winner. Not many Derby horses are making the trip to Baltimore, but it is one of them that gets top pick.
Kentucky Derby Undercard Stakes Results - There were 6 other stakes on the card today with the Derby, including the Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) won by Bricks and Mortar, the Humana Distaff (G1) won by Mia Mischief, the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2) won by Beau Recall, the Churchill Downs Stakes (G1) won by Mitole, the American Turf (G2) won by Digital Age, and the Pat Day Mile (G3) won by Mr. Money. Get the results, charts, and photos here.
Serengeti Empress rules in the 2019 Kentucky Oaks (G1) - Serengeti Empress went to the front and never looked back, winning the 2019 Kentucky Oaks (G1) by 1 3/4 lengths over late closing longshot Liora with Lady Apple third. Favorite Bellafina finished fifth. Get the results, chart, and photos here.
Kentucky Oaks Undercard Stakes Results - There were 5 other stakes on the card today with the Oaks, including the La Troienne (G1) won by She's a Julie, the Alysheba (G2) won by McKinzie, the Eight Belles (G2) won by Break Even, the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G3) won by World of Trouble, and the Edgewood Stakes (G3) won by Concrete Rose. Get the results, charts, and photos here.
Thursday Kentucky Derby Photos - Thursday morning at Churchill Downs wasn't as crowded, perhaps because of the rain overnight. Not all the Derby horses and Oaks fillies were out this morning, with Haikal being treated for a foot abcess. Check out photos for 18 Derby horses and 12 Oaks fillies with comments.
Kentucky Derby Entries - Tuesday morning entries closed for the 145th Kentucky Derby with a full field of 20 plus one also-eligible. Morning line favorite is now Game Winner at 9-2 after the scratch of Omaha Beach. Get the horses, morning line odds, free past performances, and lots more info here.
Wednesday Kentucky Derby Photos - Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs was even more crowded on the backside with Derby fans now that all the Derby and Oaks horses are on the grounds. All 21 Derby horses and 15 Oaks fillies were out this morning, including the new arrivals. Update: As of 6:30pm, Omaha Beach will be scratched due to an entrapped epiglottis! Check out photos for each with comments.
Tuesday Kentucky Derby Photos - Tuesday was my first morning at Churchill Downs and the backside was more crowded than usual with Derby fans to see the horses at 7:30am. 14 Derby horses and 14 Oaks fillies were out this morning, including Derby favorite Omaha Beach and Oaks favorite Bellafina. Check out photos for each with comments.
2019 Kentucky Oaks Entries - A full field of 14 with 2 also-eligibles was drawn for the 145th Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) to be run on Friday at Churchill Downs. Santa Anita Oaks (G1) winner Bellafina is the 2-1 morning line favorite from post 4. Get all the horses, posts, and free past performances here.
2019 Kentucky Derby Analysis - Our annual analysis of the top contenders to try and select a winner by matching each to the profile of a Kentucky Derby winner using many of the more popular angles and statistical trends. This year it is a pretty wide open field and the order shows that.
Kentucky Derby Notes for 4/29 - Monday morning was still cold but not as gloomy at Churchill Downs and only one Derby horse, Long Range Toddy, and one Oaks filly, Restless Rider, had timed works. Shortly after noon, Bellafina arrived from California. Check out comments and photos for the Derby and Oaks horses, free past performances, probable starters for the rest of the Derby weekend stakes, and more. Previous: 04/20, 04/21, 04/22, 04/23, 04/24, 04/25, 04/26, 04/27, 04/28
2019 Kentucky Derby And Oaks Security - New enhanced stricter rules with no onsite parking were enforced in 2018, and are in effect again this year. Be sure to read the rules if you are attending. There will still be magnetic wand searches of all patrons and many things are no longer allowed. Check here to make sure you don't bring anything they will confiscate.
Kentucky Derby Prep Races - What races should a horse prep in to win the Kentucky Derby? Some races may seem obvious, but have not produced a Derby winner in many years. Find out which races are the best preps here.
Kentucky Derby Winners and Auction Prices - Bigger may seem better, but in the case of Kentucky Derby horses who sold at auction, less is more. Here is a look at how (badly) high priced auction purchases have done in the Kentucky Derby and the auction prices for this year's top Derby contenders.
Review: Triple Crown Handicapper 2019 - by Jim Mazur. Includes lots of stats for all 3 races and explains how to use a system of statistically derived negative angles to eliminate the "bad" picks. Revamped for 2019 with updated info.
Kentucky Derby Traditions - Find out all about the big Derby Traditions: the rose garland, the trophy, the Twin Spires, mint juleps, singing "My Old Kentucy Home", fancy hats, celebrities and the annual Derby glasses.
Fillies in the Kentucky Derby - a look at the 39 fillies who have contested the Run for the Roses and how they did. So far there have been 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 5 thirds.
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.