Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mott tries to savour controversial Derby win




Mott tries to savour controversial Derby win

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Country House jockey Flavien Prat celebrates after his mount is declared the Kentucky Derby winner in the wake of the disqualification of Maximum Security (AFP Photo/JAMIE SQUIRE)

Mott tries to savour controversial Derby win

Trainer Bill Mott was still feeling his way through complicated emotions on Sunday, a day after his Country House won the Kentucky Derby when first-past-the-post Maximum Security was disqualified.

The sensational outcome – a first in the 145-year history of the Kentucky Derby – promises to rumble on throughout US flat-racing’s Triple Crown season, with Maximum Security owner Gary West refusing to rule out an appeal.

“I feel terrible that I have to apologise for winning,” Mott – who claimed his first Derby victory – said as Country House was paraded for photographers at Churchill Downs on Sunday morning.

Maximum Security, with Luis Saez in the irons, swept across the finish line 1 1/2 lengths in front of 65-1 longshot Country House.

But Maximum Security had briefly veered from the rail as the field turned for home and after an agonising 20-minute stewards’ inquiry was judged to have impeded other horses and dropped to 17th in the 19-horse field.

Questions lingered over why the stewards didn’t immediately indicate an inquiry was underway, instead waiting for objections from Country House jockey Flavien Prat and the rider of Long Range Toddy, Jon Court.

Others wondered why the stewards never answered questions from the press about the decision, instead delivering only a prepared statement.

Gary and Mary West had already been handed the winner’s garland of roses when the inquiry gathered steam, finally having to hand them back.

Gary West told the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper in a text message that he felt the stewards were “forcing” him to challenge the ruling by refusing to show him the video they used until next Thursday.

West indicated to the Union-Tribune that he would consider taking his case to the Kentucky state racing commission and federal court.

Marc Guilfoil, executive director of Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, told the Louisville Courier-Journal that he thought the decision would stand up to any challenge.

War of Will had to be checked hard to avoid a collision with Maximum Security on the sloppy Churchill Downs track, and stewards found that Long Range Toddy and Bodexpress were also affected.

In 1968, Dancer’s Image was disqualified as the Kentucky Derby winner over a failed drug test, with Forward’s Pass inheriting the win in a decision that led to years of legal battles.

“I don’t even want to think about that,” Mott said. “They’ll be talking about this at the next Kentucky Derby, and the one after that and probably 10 Kentucky Derbys,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that

  • Man in quarantine dies of ‘overdose’

    The Ministry of Health on Thursday said a Cambodian migrant worker who died while being isolated at a quarantine centre in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district may have died from syncope or overdose of tablets. In a statement, the ministry said the 21-year-old

  • Ministry set to reopen 20 schools in August

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will allow 20 high-safety-standards schools to reopen next month despite new cases of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha wrote in a Telegram message on Wednesday that the schools are in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang.