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Let’s Not Pretend Like We Know Horse Racing Now

The 145th running of the Kentucky Derby had the most controversial finish in Derby history. As the horses came down the final stretch it appeared that Maximum Security had crossed several lanes impeding other horses enough to affect the outcome of the race. Watch the end of the race starting at 1:40.

The New York Times explains what Barbara Borden, Chief Steward of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, had to say:

“She explained that the riders of No. 18, Long Range Toddy, and No. 20, Country House, had lodged complaints against Maximum Security, saying there had been interference as they left the quarter-pole and headed for home.

“We had a lengthy review of the race,” Borden said. “We interviewed affected riders.” She said the stewards had unanimously agreed that Maximum Security drifted out and affected the progress of No. 1, War of Will, in turn interfering with Long Range Toddy and No. 21, Bodexpress.

“Those horses were all affected, we thought, by the interference,” she said. “Therefore, we unanimously determined to disqualify No. 7 and place him behind the 18, the 18 being the lowest-placed horse that he bothered, which is our typical procedure.” That made Maximum Security the 17th-place finisher officially.”

Just like when anything political happens and everyone all of the sudden has a law degree, everyone suddenly became horse racing experts. Just because a person is from Kentucky does not mean that they inherently know more about horse racing. Losing money due to the disqualification does make an argument more valid. The point is, don’t put any stock into the tirades on Twitter that are for or against the judgment. Most of them have never even ridden a horse before.

Basically, don’t bother arguing with the people on either side of the debate. Especially if your knowledge of horse racing begins and ends with the movie Seabiscuit or Racing Stripes like mine does. Quick check to see if you should engage in a debate on twitter: can you name a single horse that was not in this year’s Derby, a Derby winner or famously euthanized on the track? If no, just accept what the Chief Steward of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission said and move on.

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