Kentucky Derby ending 'ruined horse racing for me' and others in Philly

Andrew Kramer
May 05, 2019 - 8:03 am
The Philaderby watch party.

Andrew Kramer/KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Odds on favorite Maximum Security crossed the finish line first at the Kentucky Derby, was declared the winner, then was later disqualified for committing a foul on the track.

Country House, the long shot who crossed second, would become the winner.

Horse racing fans watching this all go down at the annual watch party in Philadelphia known as Philaderby weren't happy.

"It ruined horse racing for me," Rick Lergo said of the finish. "It's another example of where the officials and refs have taken over the sport. You have to let the sport play out with the people or animals in the sport."

Related: What a shocker! Country House wins Kentucky Derby via DQ

Lergo never met Kevin Smith before Saturday's Philaderby. But they became friends quickly, bonding over their hatred for how the race ended.

"A horse wins, we watched that horse win,  it wins," Smith said. "I went from up money to down money. Thank you referees, you lost me money today."

Smith wasn't the only Philaderby attendee to lose some bucks on the disqualification.

"I put $300 down and I lost it," said Griffin Korner. "A winner's a winner. You can disqualify all you want, but we all know who the true winner is."

Angelo from New Hope did not bet, but as a horse facing fan, he calls the disqualification "egregious."

"The better horse won and I thought that should be the end of it," he added. "For me, I might never watch another Kentucky Derby to be honest with you. This could be it for me, I'm done."

Despite the sour tastes the ending of the race left in many people's mouths, it was a beautiful night for this rooftop watch party at the brand new Sunset Social, which was celebrating it's unofficial opening (it officially opens Monday).

Large crowds showed up in their bow ties and fancy hats, sipping on mint juleps. 

"You really feel like you're in the race and into the Derby and it's just a great atmosphere to be in to celebrate," said Elyse Thomas, wearing her pink hat with flowers.

"I've never been to Kentucky but I imagine it looks like this," said Catie Herr, wearing her hat with ribbons and sundress.

There was a contest for best dressed and best hat.

The Derby was shown on massive 50-foot screen.