For once, I agree with Donald Trump. Well, sort of.
Of course, President Trump condemned the disqualification of Maximum Security in the Kentucky Derby. Did he do it because he bet on the horse with 9-2 odds in the Run for the Roses? We all know how Trump likes to win at whatever cost.
In fact, the answer to that is “no.” He said that political correctness caused the stewards to DQ MS for bumping a couple of horses in the turn at the top of the stretch. I don’t even know what that means, but I kind of like Trump’s rational explanation that it was a rough race from the start with lots of contact among the large field on a wet and sloppy track.
That’s what I thought. The conditions seemed to cause more congestion than usual with the horses packed together close to the rail for the entire race. On the turn for the final stretch, the Churchill Downs crowd always goes nuts, and Maximum Security’s jockey said he thought that caused his horse to jump and veer before he pulled him up, straightened him out and still won going away. Max was the best horse in the field, and it is doubtful that any other would have caught him and beat him to the finish line, since he had led for most of the race and held off all other challengers before the last leg. So, maybe the stewards should have considered all that more than they obviously did.
How would you like to be the guy who placed numerous bets, among them on the 65-1 long shot, Country House, that wound up in the winner’s circle? Did that guy tear up all his betting receipts in disgust before learning about the official protest by two jockeys and the forthcoming review?
Say he had wagered a thousand dollars on ten different horses, banking on one of them winning. He bet a total of $10,000 and, if he found his torn-up ticket, would have had a great day at the track, collecting around 65K; instead he went to get his $4,500 if he had Maximum Security and then found out. So he might have gone home with nothing if he had no winning ticket.
The owners of Maximum Security are considering an appeal or possible legal action, but that almost never works in horse racing or any form of gambling. Unless, of course, you know Trump, who sues anybody for anything if it keeps him from losing.