The sport of horse racing is still in chaos after this weekend’s debacle of a Kentucky Derby, in which Maximum Security won the race and then was disqualified after it was deemed to have blocked the other horses in the field. The 62-to-1 longshot Country House was declared the winner, making a host of horse players filthy rich in the process.
Now we hear the Maximum Security owners will continue to fight this disqualification. We also have comfirmation that neither Maximum Security nor Country House will race the Preakness now. So the whole Triple Crown is now shot, thanks to this controversy. Thank you very much, Kentucky Derby stewards.
People are now debating what this all means for horse racing, which is already reeling this year after the 23 deaths of horses at the Santa Anita track in California. Lots of people say this is another black eye for a sport that didn’t need it. Honestly, this sport could not go any lower in stature if it tried. Attendance is totally in the sink, pretty much everywhere.
Yet this Derby controversy has somehow managed to get this sport back on everyone’s radar. The reaction and outpouring have proven to everyone that there is still an audience out there for horse racing, even if only for three races a year in the Triple Crown. The fact is everyone has been talking about the end of this race, ranting and raving about it all weekend on Twitter.
This controversy seems to best fit the old P.T. Barnum credo of “any publicity is good publicity.” The horse racing industry better hope so.