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Kentucky Derby winner Country House

In this May 4 photo, Flavien Prat rides Country House to the finish line during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. 

The most exciting two minutes in sports stretched into the longest 22-minute wait for the official results after a historic objection was raised against apparent winner Maximum Security for veering into other horses’ lanes in the final turn before the homestretch of the 145th Run for the Roses.

In an unprecedented move, after watching repeated loops of the replays of the in-race foul, stewards, who supervise the outcome of horse races, disqualified Maximum Security and deemed the runner-up, Country House — a 65-1 longshot — the official winner.

Fans will likely debate the stewards’ decision for years to come, and while the outcome was anything but routine, it did teach us a few things that apply to both horseracing and life.

Don’t get distracted by fans. Maximum Security jockey Luis Saez said the horse “ducked out a little” from the crowd noise as the colts made the turn for home.

Don’t take your eye off the goal. By drifting into the “lanes” of the other horses, Maximum Security took himself out of the race.

Stay in your lane. While the interference call wasn’t obvious to the casual observer in real time, many horseracing experts were quick to point out the foul.

Speak up. When you witness something that isn’t fair, say something. The jockeys aboard Country House and Long Range Toddy lodged objectionsagainst Maximum Security.

The right decision isn’t always the most popular one. Faced with a difficult call, the stewards took their time (more than 20 minutes) and made the correct one .

The best horse doesn’t always finish first. Following the stewards’ ruling, many folks bellyached that the fastest horse didn’t finish first. In the official results it didn’t, but, then again, the official results are all that matter.

It was a finish that was anything but conventional, but we believe the stewards got it right. A foul is a foul, and a horse is a horse. Of course, of course.

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