As we put Kentucky Derby 145 in the rearview mirror, the disqualification controversy is still roiling in the national media with it continuing to be a focus on all of the Sunday evening national news segments.
After taking a day to take a deep breath, it was evident that Maximum Security veered out and impeded both War of Will and Long Range Toddy and in turn impacting Bodexpress who backed up to 14th, and placed 13th.
The rule is in place for safety purposes and disaster was truly averted when War of Will avoided clipping heels, a truly athletic act, and saved every horse behind him from going down.
There would be an entirely different narrative today if that had happened. Jeremy Balan’s video post on Twitter surely proved that.
This is the slow-mo they just showed of Maximum Security’s leg literally hitting War of Will’s leg twice. Like I said, a miracle there wasn’t a complete disaster out there. pic.twitter.com/QKY1xPEMyF
— Jeremy Balan (@jeremybalan) May 4, 2019
Let's take a look at some numbers from yesterday and news and notes from the backside on the morning after the Run for the Roses.
Today's print column was a game story on the controversial ending to the Kentucky Derby.
• A note on the Kentucky Oaks before moving into Derby news, seven of the last 15 years a horse coming out of the Fair Grounds Oaks has also won the Kentucky Oaks, that's an astonishing figure.
• The Maryland Jockey Club announced this morning several Preakness probables which include Derby winner Country House. Ten others are on the early list of prospects for the Preakness: War of Will, who was seventh in the Derby; Bodexpress, who was 13th in the Derby; Sueno, third-place finisher in the Louisiana Derby; Alwaysmining, winner of the Federico Tesio at Laurel; Anothertwistafate, winner of the El Camino Real Derby; Signalman, third in the Blue Grass; Laughing Fox, winner of the Oaklawn Invitational; Blue Grass winner Owendale; Mr. Money, winner of the Pat Day Mile (G3); and Fountain of Youth runner-up Bourbon War, fourth in the Florida Derby.
• It’s a shame that Maximum Security’s connections have decided to pass on the Preakness, he was clearly the best horse on Saturday and could have proved that in two weeks.
Maximum Security came out of the Derby in good order and will van to @MonmouthPark Monday where trainer Jason Servis is based in the summer. The colt will not run in the @PreaknessStakes and future races have not been decided
— sdhorserace (@sdhorserace) May 5, 2019
• Since 2009, out of the five horses that won on an off-track at the Derby, only Justify came back to win the Preakness, albeit on another sloppy track.
• Buffalo once again showed up in the top 10 television markets for the Derby finishing tied for sixth with at 17.6 share tied with Dayton, Ohio. The markets in the top five included Louisville (39.5), Cincinnati (20.3), Fort Myers (19.4), Indianapolis (18.6) and Knoxville (17.9).
• Japanese qualifier Master Fencer, last at the quarter pole finished up seventh with a final quarter-mile time that was the fastest since Derby winner Animal Kingdom’s in 2011.
• I thought Bodexpress was really traveling well after having to start from the far outside post and Chris Landeros, who impressed me on Pegasus World Cup day, had him in excellent position to strike, if he had any horse left. Instead, he was pinched by War of Will and Long Range Toddy and his day was over.
• Interesting note in the trainer comments after the race from Code of Honor trainer Shug McGaughey. “He ran a good race. He just cut the corner and it looked like we were going to be home free. But I think he got to looking at the crowd a little bit, according to John (Velazquez). So not only was Maximum Security spooked by the crowd, but the horse to his inside was also affected.
• Cool father/son moments in the paddock watching the Derby, where Todd Pletcher watched with his two sons; Mark Casse and son, Norman watched in the back of the paddock and were definitely the most animated watching War of Will’s thrill ride. Bob Baffert also watched the paddock video with Bode and his sons from his first marriage.
• Bob Baffert wins the best trainer quote. “I told my riders to stay clean, they don’t listen to me.”
• One question that was left unanswered when the stewards did not take post-press conference questions, was why a steward’s inquiry wasn’t lodged. If the two jockeys, Flavien Prat or Jon Court did not lodge objections, Maximum Security would be your Derby winner.
• The auxiliary gate for the Derby that typically houses gates 15-20 has caused nothing but collisions in the last few editions. Is it time to have one long gate or limit the field to 14 horses? With that potential disaster that occurred yesterday, would six less horses make it safer? I think so.
• With three straight years of rain on Derby day, next year has to be a beautiful, sunny day. Right? Bueller?
• Wagering from all-sources on the Kentucky Derby Day program totaled $250.9 million, an 11% increase over the 2018 total and previous record of $225.7 million. Wagering from all-sources on the Kentucky Derby race increased 10% to $165.5 million from the previous record of $149.9 million set last year.
• This year’s wagering record includes $4.1 million of handle wagered in Japan with this being the first year the Kentucky Derby has ever been offered for wagering in the country.
• Attendance of 150,729 decreased 4% compared to last year, as the threat of an all-day rain forecast kept many fans away.
• This year’s Derby purse was elevated $1 million to a guaranteed $3 million making it the richest in history for America’s greatest race and first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown.
• Crabcakes, anyone?