The rainy, muddy Kentucky Derby yesterday was certainly a sloppy mess on every level.
But let me begin by saying I don’t hold Country House responsible for the disgrace his human handlers gleefully heaped on Maximum Security. I’m sure had Country realized his jockey, Flavien Prat, is a conniving weasel, he’d have thrown Prat off before they reached the starting gate and walked away in disgust. Instead, Country has to live with being the only horse ever to have the Kentucky Derby handed to him without winning.
Watching the “disaster” unfold in replays (because no commentator made a peep while it was happening) was like déjà vu to the 2016 election. It didn’t matter how competent, able, and ahead the best “horse” was, forces conspired to put someone else in the Winner’s Circle with the “roses.”
I always thought the purpose of horse racing is for horses to get in front of each other. Maximum Security did that to the field right out of the gate. That he and his jockey, Luis Saez, finished looking like they’d romped on grass instead of through a quagmire was testament to how well they stayed in front.
Here’s a photo of the finish line…
The horse in the red sash to the right is Maximum Security. The horse with the yellow sash in relatively distant second place is Country House. (For the record, his odds were 65-1; he’d only won one race in six previous starts.)
Perhaps figuring he had nothing to lose, Country’s jockey Prat cried foul and claimed Maximum Security “interfered” with other horses, even though he and Country were on the outside, uninvolved. Here’s what happened…
Coming into the stretch, Maximum Security veered right, which he was able to do BECAUSE NO OTHER HORSE WAS THERE.
The horse closest behind him was War of Will, who had veered out from post position 2, and then Long Range Toddy, who had veered well in from post position 18.
War of Will ultimately came in 7th, and Long Range Toddy came in 16th.
Did you see how Max mauled those two horses so badly in that split second that they both essentially threw in the towel? Neither did I.
Meanwhile, Country House was prancing along free and clear, but didn’t have enough race left to overtake Max.
The best horse won, and deserved to win. Max was undefeated with four previous wins, but the stewards kicked him to 17th place in the Derby. They claim his side-stepping threw off virtually ALL the other horses and ANY of them could have magically outrun Max if only he’d stayed out of their way.
If that isn’t some of the vilest, most disgusting horseshit I’ve ever heard, I don’t know what is.
OK, maybe Donald Trump tweeting that Maximum Security lost because of “political correctness.” That moron’s too stupid to realize that “winner” Country House is the Derby’s Donald Trump.
The sports talking heads are doing their utmost to make Max’s behavior heinous to justify the bullshit decision, pretty much saying he could have caused a pile-up and gotten everybody killed.
Well, no, he couldn’t have, because he pulled considerably ahead in the next instant and left the others behind to wallow in the muck.
Now any jockey who doesn’t like the way a race turns out can raise a stink and cross his fingers. Stewards can comb through any replay until they find some justification to throw the race — because they always can. The participants are HORSES. They just RUN. They don’t give a shit about human rules. When it’s muddy, anything can happen.
For the record, I picked Maximum Security to win before any humans were taking him seriously, and before Bob Baffert said he was the horse to watch. Just sayin’.