Kentucky Derby Disqualification Voted NTRA Moment of the Year

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Maximum Security, second from right, was disqualified for interference in the 2019 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, which was named NTRA Moment of the Year. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Maximum Security’s historic disqualification in the 145th Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve has been voted the 2019 NTRA Moment of the Year.

In the Derby at Churchill Downs, Maximum Security crossed the finish line in front by 1 3/4 lengths but subsequently was disqualified — the first winner in Derby history to be demoted for a racing infraction — and placed 17th for interference late on the second turn. This action was deemed by stewards to have potentially impacted War of Will, Long Range Toddy, and Bodexpress, resulting in Country House, the initial second-place finisher, being elevated to first after a 22-minute deliberation by stewards.

The ruling resonated on several fronts, from giving Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott his first win in the run for the roses to the legal wrangling which ensued in the aftermath. Although Maximum Security had the prestigious triumph denied, the son of New Year’s Day ended up with other noteworthy victories, ending his season with three straight graded stakes wins, including two Grade 1s.

The Moment of the Year will be recognized Thursday evening at the Runhappy Eclipse Awards Presented by Daily Racing Form, Breeders’ Cup Ltd., and The Stronach Group at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

NTRA Moment of the Year voters chose from 14 occurrences illustrating a range of human emotions as well as outstanding displays of equine athleticism. Finishing second was Belvoir Bay’s triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, a victory that came two years after she survived the Lilac Fire that decimated San Luis Rey Training Center.

Represented on Twitter by the hashtag #MaximumSecurityDQ, the winning moment garnered 390 votes from 1,072 cast via Twitter and online. Belvoir Bay’s Breeders’ Cup win, #BelvoirBayBC, earned 129 votes. The riderless Preakness Stakes jaunt by Bodexpress, #BodexpressRun, was third with 121 votes.

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