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Bettors Lose Out on At Least $42M in Winnings with Maximum Security’s Disqualification


Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Flavien Prat aboard Country House (20)

  • Saturday's stunning disqualification of Maximum Security at the 2019 Kentucky Derby cost bettors approximately $42 million in possible winnings -- and that's just for win/place/show wagers.

Maximum Security, the No. 7 horse in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, won the Run for the Roses … until he didn’t. The decision to disqualify the pre-race favorite (9-2 odds) swung tens of millions of dollars in bets in Kentucky.

In fact, according to Ed DeRosa, the approximate winnings for just the win/place/show bets on Maximum Security would’ve been $42 million at TwinSpires, the online wagering service for Churchill Downs.

But instead of heading to the window to cash their tickets, Maximum Security bettors had to wait in agony as track officials reviewed the tape, before ruling that the horse illegally impeded the path of No. 1 War of Will, resulting in a disqualification.

The total handle for all Maximum Security win/place/show bets was nearly $9 million at TwinSpires. One bettor thought he/she had turned $8,000 into $44,000 with Maximum Security’s win, before the ruling ruined all hope.

The stunning DQ, a first-ever for a winner in the 145-year history of the Derby, was heightened, given the horse’s profile. Maximum Security went off at 9-2 odds, making him the second favorite. Bettors placed more than $6.2 million in wagers on Maximum Security to win at TwinSpires, the second-highest amount behind only pre-race favorite Improbable (4-1 odds).

The $42 million figure doesn’t encapsulate all of the exotics that were impacted by Maximum Security’s DQ, so the total figure is actually much higher.

Meanwhile, the ruling was a boon for anyone who bet on Country House. At 65-1 odds, he’s the second-biggest longshot ever to take home the Kentucky Derby.

One lucky Country House bettor at TwinSpires won $133,000 on a $2,500 wager.

The Action Network’s Darren Rovell contributed to this report.

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