Derby Disqualification

Demolition Derby: “We’d have let him keep his well-earned win, despite our notorious partiality to long shots.”

When all was said and done, the article makes the right point: Country House was unimpeded and had every chance to win, but didn’t.

But perspective matters. The unsung hero of the debacle was War of Will, who miraculously avoided the legs of Maximum Security as he crossed in front of him. We could have been talking about multiple racetrack fatalities today, instead of a controversy in the stewards room.

You can watch the race again here, if you missed it yesterday.

Update: A different angle on the incident, and I’ve changed my mind. I think the stewards did the right thing here.

12 Replies to “Derby Disqualification”

  1. It’s not the job of the stewards to use a Ouija board to devine who would have won “if” a foul had not been committed. If a foul occurred that could have affected the outcome, the horse would be disqualified. If it had been a claiming race, the decision would have taken a mere two minutes. They agonized because it was the Derby. War of Will was certainly significantly affected and the general sudden push out from the rail could have also affected Country House, admittedly to a much lesser degree.

    Was Maximum Security the best horse? Almost certainly, but it doesn’t matter. He deserved to be DQd.

  2. The violation was obvious & resulted in multiple horses losing STRIDE going into the Stretch….It is a miracle that a pile up did not happen with injured Riders & Horses…. It’s impossible to determine the fastest horse when obstruction becomes part of a winning strategy….

    The Jockey should lose his license to ride in any race…How many times has he pulled this same stunt?

    1. That’s my question too! A very dangerous tactic and maneuver … if this were a NASCAR race … drivers would be duking it out on the track for jeopardizing lives in such an illegal maneuver. And the driver would be punished. Sorry, but ALL sports need RULES and REFEREES. Why? Human nature.

      Wish I had laid some money down at 65-1 odds. Damn!

  3. Oh brother. That Sun article is just crammed with indignant lefty crapola.
    Never miss a chance to politicize everything

    1. I was skeptical at first, but after watching several videos I agree with Kate.

      That was an illegal move by Maximum Security’s jockey.

      Good call.

  4. I am thinking that track condition s may have been a big factor. It looks like Maximum Security is sliding some, as are some other horses, with there body direction skewed considerably from their direction of travel. Several horses in the pack appear to be swinging wide.

    Any animal in motion behaves much like a vehicle in motion. It only has so much friction. Some of it can be used to propel the animal forward, some of it can be used to change direction. In a turn, some has to be used to correct direction and maintain control. Poor conditions reduce the available friction.

    The track was mud soup. The horses start to slide because there isn’t enough friction to maintain control at speed. This puts the jockeys in a tough spot. Slow down to maintain control, but risk losing the race or getting hit from behind by another horse that isn’t slowing down, or lay on the speed and try to stay ahead of the pack.

  5. The New York Times continues to keep digging and it is pathetic, “Yet various accounts had it that another nag, War of Will”… It’s hard to comprehend the self destruction going on over there. I don’t trust anything they say anymore and haven’t for quite some time.

  6. During that outward slide, Maximum Security’s head was aimed to the left, the opposite direction of the slide. That’s the fault of the track conditions, not the horse or rider. If the jockey intentionally did that, the horse’s head would have been turned to the right or been pointed straight ahead, not to the left.