Maximum Security's Derby DQ deemed 'Moment of the Year'

NTRA Communications
January 23, 2020 10:10am
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association on Thursday announced that Maximum Security’s historic disqualification in the 145th Kentucky Derby has been voted the 2019 NTRA Moment of the Year based on the results of 1,072 votes cast via Twitter and an online poll.

The winning moment occurred on May 4, 2019, at 7:15 p.m. ET following a near 22-minute deliberation by the stewards. Maximum Security crossed the wire in front by 1 ¾ lengths but was subsequently disqualified and demoted to 17th in the classic due to interference near the five-sixteenths pole which impacted War of Will, Long Range Toddy and Bodexpress. Country House, the initial second-place finisher, was elevated to the victory when Maximum Security became the first horse disqualified from a Kentucky Derby win due to interference.

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 bringing stability to the parity-laden sophomore ranks by ending his season with three straight graded stakes wins, including two Grade 1 scores.

The Moment of the Year will be recognized and memorialized at Thursday evening’s 49th Eclipse Awards Presented by Daily Racing Form, Breeders’ Cup and The Stronach Group at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Hallandale Beach, Fla. Maximum Security will vie for two honors on the evening as he is a finalist for both Champion Three-Year-Old Male and 2019 Horse of the Year. 

The Eclipse Awards will air live on TVG at 8 p.m. ET. TVG is available in more than 45 million homes nationwide and the ceremony also will be available via DirecTV Now, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku.

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. Belvoir Bay’s Breeders’ Cup win, #BelvoirBayBC, earned 129 votes. The riderless Preakness jaunt by Bodexpress, #BodexpressRun, was third with 121 votes.


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