Trump Calls out Kentucky Derby Decision to Disqualify Winner

By Jeremy Sandberg

For the first time in the 145-year history of the Kentucky Derby, the winning horse was disqualified for interference. President Donald Trump did not agree with the stewards decision.

“The Kentucky Derby decision was not a good one,” Trump wrote on twitter. “It was a rough & tumble race on a wet and sloppy track, actually, a beautiful thing to watch. Only in these days of political correctness could such an overturn occur. The best horse did NOT win the Kentucky Derby—not even close!”

Steward Barbara Borden addresses media
Steward Barbara Borden addresses the media about the decision to disqualify Maximum Security in the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on May 4, 2019. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The horse, Maximum Security, was disqualified after a 22-minute debate between the three stewards, who eventually came to a unanimous decision to designate the second place horse, Country House, as the winner after reviewing the replay from different angles.

Final turn 145th Kentucky Derby
Country House #20 ridden by jockey Flavien Prat, War of Will #1 ridden by jockey Tyler Gaffalione, Code of Honor #13 ridden by jockey John Velazquez, and Maximum Security #7 ridden by jockey Luis Saez vie for position in the final turn of the 145th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on May 4, 2019. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
stewards review disqualified Maximum Security
Country House #20 was declared the winner after a stewards review disqualified Maximum Security #7 at the 145th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on May 4, 2019. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Horse racing journalist and equestrian Kevin Blake also took to twitter to voice his opinion: “Tough decision in the Kentucky Derby, but would it be as disputed if the incident had led to War Of Will falling and causing carnage?”

In an interview with the Associated Press, the owner of Maximum Security, Gary West, said he may pursue an appeal.

“I think this is the most egregious disqualification in the history of horse racing, and not just because it’s our horse,” said West.

Jockey Flavien Prat celebrates
Jockey Flavien Prat of Country House #20 celebrates as Country House is declared the winner after a stewards review disqualified Maximum Security #7 during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on May 4, 2019. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Maximum Security crosses finish line
Maximum Security #7, ridden by jockey Luis Saez crosses the finish line during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on May 4, 2019. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

According to the Kentucky Derby website, the first Derby winner to be disqualified was in 1968 for testing positive for illegal medication following the race.

This was the first disqualification for interference.