Bettors who wagered on Maximum Security winning the Kentucky Derby were jumping for joy as the American Thoroughbred racehorse crossed the finish line first, seemingly besting the field and cashing tickets ranging from 6/1 to 9/1.
However, an unprecedented disqualification led to runner-up Country House receiving the honors. Country Horse paid anywhere from 33/1 to 75/1 — a decided long-shot, but a winner nevertheless.
It was determined by race officials that Maximum Security blocked and obstructed the path of other horses on what was a wet and sloppy track.
“I think this is the most egregious disqualification in the history of horse racing,” said the racehorse's owner, Gary West, in a statement to the Associated Press.
You'd have to go all the way back to 1968 to find the only other disqualification involving the winning racehorse in Kentucky Derby history (Dancer's Image, failed drug test).
Sports bettors were equally outraged at SBR Forum.
At least two online sportsbooks have returned funds for players in the unfortunate position of having victory snatched from them: BetOnline (SBR rating A+) announced on their Twitter feed that they have no-actioned all Maximum Security to win wagers, and grading all matchups involving Maximum Security as a winner on both sides.
Wow, my boss is in a giving mood (Note to self- ask for a raise tomorrow).
All Maximum Security "To Win" bets placed in the BetOnline Sportsbook will be no-actioned. A healthy 6-figure refund.
Preakness Stakes two weeks and counting…
— Dave Mason (@DaveMasonBOL) May 5, 2019
An SBR Forum poster reported that bitcoin sportsbook Nitrogen Sports made a similar concession by refunding matchups involving Maximum Security.
Bet365 has revised their odds for the upcoming Preakness Stakes and made Maximum Security even money. Country Horse is trading at 4 to 1. SBR will release a full comparison of Preakness Stakes odds and prop bets next week.