LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Jockey Jon Court knows he made the right decision.
The 58 year-old filed an objection after Kentucky Derby 145, an objection that helped take down Maximum Security.
“It was really weighing on me and I was like everyone else, well should I in the Kentucky Derby?” Court said on Thursday at Churchill Downs. “It was weighing on me, but it wasn’t long before speaking to the connections and the owner and seeing the look on their face that there’s no question that we were violated. You know there were several infractions on us that made it worthy enough to claim an objection.”
Court and Long Range Toddy were in second, just outside of Maximum Security heading into the final turn. War of Will came up between them. Bodexpress just outside and Country House was outside of him.
When Maximum Security drifted off the rail, the move forced War of Will into Long Range Toddy. Long Range Toddy cut off Bodexpress and slightly bumped into Country House. It was everything Court could do just to hang on.
“I was absolutely in danger and I didn’t realize how much I was in danger until a few people pointed it out,” he said. “I watched the replay and I realized how dangerous it was and then it kind of shook me up about 48 hours, 72 hours in, and then I was upset. I don’t have time to get scared, it’s not in my vocabulary, but at that particular time I just got angry. I stand by my decisions.”
Much of the confusion after the race stemmed from the fact that NBC’s announcers were only told that Country House jockey Flavian Prat had filed an objection.
“It was so loud that I had to get down close to the ground and cup my hands around the phone and I repeated myself three times and obviously I don’t think they heard everything I said,” Court recalled. “I saw legs tangled in legs and it’s absolutely a miracle that everyone come out of it not only unscathed but with minimal injuries, just some soreness.”
With a few days to reflect, he would handle the situation the exact same way.
“I rarely ever claim foul,” Court said. “Regardless of the level of the race, or a low end race, when I claim foul, it’s known that is usually a legitimate cause and it has merit to it.”
Churchill Downs stewards placed Maximum Security 17th, just behind Long Range Toddy in the finishing order.