2019 Kentucky Derby Needs a Do-Over

May 5, 2019

By Kate Richards                                                              

The Derby class of 2019 has circled the track and cars carrying saturated julep merrymakers has filed down I-64, grumbling about the results and the weather.  Just about everyone is mad about the final results of this 145th Derby. The eventual victor, a horse trained by Bill Mott, Country House, and the horse that led the herd around the track, Maximum Security, rumbled after the turn. Maximum Security was then robbed of his roses because of disqualification over interference. What happened depends on how one views lane jumping and the close quarters of a 20-horse field. Just after the turn, Maximum Security, was hunted very closely, by War of Will, who was coming up on his right flank. The rain soddened track caused Maximum Security to slide ever so slightly moving him into War of Will’s lane causing War of Will’s pilot to check sharply. In understanding the ‘what if” the front hooves of WoW were running under Maximum Security’s back hooves and easily could have caused War of Will to fall backward or sideways setting up a chain reaction of falling horses running at top speed. On NBC…just what racing needs to acclimatize after the Santa Anita fallout.

No one wants to toast a DQ. Moreover, what was said in Steward’s room is what was said in the steward’s room. As Seinfeld would say “yadda, yadda, yadda”. It was a first and I am sure it was painful for Maximum Security’s connections as clearly; their colt was the better horse.

However, a disaster created by multiple horse falls could have made this Run for the Roses catastrophic. The roses will wilt and indeed, the winning horse and rider will have to ‘prove it’ in future races. The alternative “what ifs” are the stuff of nightmares.

I need a do-over on the entire week.

The Kentucky Oaks was gloriously pink and moving with the survivor’s parade and I was glad of the beauty and grateful for the spirit of those cancer surviving women. Thank goodness.  Moreover, NBC did not bring those ice-skaters. The discovery of Omaha Beach’s throat issue and then Haikal’s foot abscess caused both sets of connections to scratch their charges wisely. Both are well on their way to better health. After following the Derby trail of tears and points, any fan of either horse was disappointed as one becomes convinced that their horse was the next big horse. Post-Derbum, I will call it. Significant build-up and oh, what a crash akin to how one feels on Dec. 26, after giving birth or having been proved wrong about your Derby favorite.

We are spoiled as we have been feasting at the trough of glory with American Pharoah, Arrogate, California Chrome and that behemoth, Justify. Moreover, Miss Australia, WINX, created midnight viewing opportunities for the restless looking for more racing for glory.

We have been checked and reminded once again, that racing can be wet, muddy and then, inspiring and celebratory.

One hopes that the blue crabs are succulent, the sun is bright and that the City of Baltimore can welcome the disheartened fans flocking to see Maximum Security wire the field.

On to the Preakness. Now there is our do-over.

Always check with Past the Wire for the latest horse racing news…..


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