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Country House #20, ridden by jockey Flavien Prat, War of Will #1, Maximum Security #7, ridden by jockey Luis Saez and Code of Honor #13. Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The 65-1 long shot Country House won the Kentucky Derby Saturday in Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky, after race favorite Maximum Security was disqualified for impeding another horse on crossing the finish line.

Why it matters: It's the first time a stewards' inquiry has disqualified the first horse across the line in the race's 145-year history. Bettors who backed Maximum Security to win, place or show lost about $9 million, ESPN reports, citing TwinSpires.com — which said it'd refund win bets on the Jason Servis-trained horse, ridden by Luis Saez.

By the numbers: Churchill Downs said wagering on the Derby rose 10% to a record $165.5 million, exceeding the previous mark of $149.9 million set last year. The record includes $4.1 million of handle bets in Japan. It's the first year the race has been offered for wagering there. A $2 bet on the Bill Mott-trained Country House, ridden by jockey Flavien Prat, pays $132.40 — the second-highest payout in Derby history, AP notes.  

  • The largest win bet on Country House was $2,500, according to TwinSpires.
  • 4-1 favorite Maximum Security was first across the Derby finish line by 1¾ lengths with a time of 2:03.93 over 1¼ miles, before being disqualified.
  • In 6 starts, 3-year-old colt Country House recorded 1 win, 2 seconds and 1 third for $260,175 in total career earnings, according to NBC Sports.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

What they're saying: Maximum Security co-owner Gary West told AP: "I think this is the most egregious disqualification in the history of horse racing, and not just because it’s our horse." He told the news agency he's considering the next step — including a possible appeal.

The big picture: In 1968, Dancer’s Image was disqualified days after winning the Derby for failing a drug test.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper: Horse racing seeks normalcy in Kentucky Derby after unexplained Santa Anita deaths

Go deeper

Storms pummel flood-hit Pacific Northwest as border river overflows

An image of the water-logged Sumas Prairie area taken last Friday. Photo: B.C. Ministry of Transportation/Twitter.

The latest ferocious storm system to hit the Pacific Northwest triggered fresh evacuation orders and at least one mudslide in flood-ravaged British Columbia, Canada, late Sunday.

Threat level: Flood sirens sounded in Washington state as the Nooksack River overflowed. Henry Braun, mayor of Abbotsford, B.C., told reporters the water flow was headed toward the Canadian border city later Sunday. "There's nothing to stop it," he said.

Updated 4 hours ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

Former Defense Secretary Esper sues Pentagon over book

Former President Trump and former Defense Secretary Mark Esper at the White House in 2020. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper filed a lawsuit Sunday against the Defense Department, accusing the Pentagon of "censoring" his First Amendment rights by redacting aspects of his upcoming book on the Trump administration.

The big picture: Esper, who served as defense secretary from July 2019 until he was fired by then-President Trump in November last year, alleges in the suit that "significant text" is "being improperly withheld from publication" of the manuscript "under the guise of classification."