The most recent disqualification of an entry happened in 1984, when Gate Dancer finished fourth on the track under Eddie Delahoussaye, just ahead of fifth-place Fali Time, under Sandy Hawley. The stewards cited Gate Dancer for interference and transposed the two finishes.
On three previous occasions, the runner-up made objections about the winner but failed to gain the agreement of the stewards.
The most recent came in 2001, when jockey John Velazquez aboard second-place Invisible Ink alleged interference against the romping winner, Monarchos, ridden by Jorge Chavez.
In 1959, jockey Bill Bolland, whose Sword Dancer finished a nose behind winner Tomy Lee, Bill Shoemaker’s mount, alleged bumping through the stretch. The stewards decided Sword Dancer had been the aggressor.
And in 1880, in the sixth edition of the race, stewards declined to go along with the objection of jockey Jimmy Lakeland, who had finished one length behind Fonso aboard Kimball.
The 59th Kentucky Derby, in 1933, became known as the “Fighting Finish” Derby, the origin of a famous photograph by Wallace Lowry of the Louisville Courier-Journal. In that stretch, jockeys Don Meade and Herb Fisher, aboard Brokers Tip and Head Play, all but held a wrestling match.
It ended with Brokers Tip winning by a nose and, according to the Courier-Journal, with Fisher whacking Meade with his whip beyond the wire, a fistfight between the two in the jockeys’ room, a 30-day suspension for both and, of course, Fisher issuing a claim of foul. The stewards dismissed it, and Fisher always thought either that he won or that Brokers Tip should have been disqualified. Fifty years later, Meade told the Louisville Courier-Journal, “I couldn’t push him away because he had ahold of me, so I had to get ahold of him. So from there down to the wire, that’s what it was — grab and grab and grab . . . It was more or less everyone for themselves in those days.”
And to think they didn’t even have Twitter.
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