19:20 GMT20 February 2020
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    2nd place finisher Country House has won the 2019 Kentucky Derby, the preeminent American horse race, on a rain-soaked field, after 1st place finisher Maximum Security was disqualified for obstruction, a first-ever event in the 145 years of the race.

    In an unprecedented and many say controversial call, the 1st place winner of the 2019 Kentucky Derby, Maximum Security, has been disqualified after judges called obstruction on the winner.

    Second place finisher Country House has been given the title of race winner.

    Described by horse-racing enthusiasts as "the most exciting two minutes in sports," this year's 145th Kentucky Derby, like every race before it, was two minutes of intensity preceded by a daylong party.

    Since 1875, the event has been run annually at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky without a single cancelation.

    Earlier, the horse Omaha Beach was projected as the favorite to win this year's race, but dropped out on Wednesday due to a medical complication. Game Winner took its place for favorite with 5/1 odds, while Improbable and Roadster were close behind at 6/1, according to Forbes.

    At just one and a quarter miles in length, the current race record remains Secretariat's 1973 scorcher, coming in a hair over one minute and fifty-nine seconds.

    Owners of the winning horse are guaranteed a prize purse of at least $1,860,000 in a sport that predates baseball.

    Horse racing has increasingly come under criticism for the way the animals are treated. In 2018, just under 10 horses died each week at racetracks in the US, according to the Equine Injury Database — a fatality rate estimated to be from 2.5 to 5 times that of racing in the rest of the world, according to the New York Times.

    The Kentucky Derby is one of three key races called the Triple Crown, which include the Preakness Stakes, on May 18, and the the Belmont Stakes on June 8.


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