Country House vs. previous Kentucky Derby Winners

Posted by Evan Chronis on Thu, May 9, 2019

Following the most controversial decision in Kentucky Derby® history, Country House has been named the 145th champion of the "Run for the Roses". 

While the Bill Mott-trained horse has had his claim to the throne both validated and questioned since the decision to overturn Maximum Security's first-place finish, the history books will only recall the winner as time passes.

2019 Kentucky Derby

With that said, Country House's victory also calls for comparison. How does the 2019 Derby champion compare to other recent conquerors of Churchill Downs®? 

Country House vs. Previous 5 Kentucky Derby Winners

Country House

Trainer: Bill Mott
Kentucky Derby Time: 2:03.93
Derby Odds: 65-1
Won by: 3/4 Lengths

Check out Derby Experiences' recap of Country House's performance and the stunning finish of the 2019 Kentucky Derby here.

Justify — 2018 Kentucky Derby Winner

Trainer: Bob Baffert
Kentucky Derby Time: 2:04.20
Derby Odds: 3-1 (favorite)
Won by: 2 1/2 lengths

Would you believe that most recent Triple Crown™ winner is also the slowest Kentucky Derby champion in recent years? Well, Justify is the only horse on our list to go past the 2:04 mark of the Derby, but the colt redefined dominance in this sloppy-track performance. 

Similar to American Pharoah, Justify had the size and stride length that made him an easy favorite going into the 144th Kentucky Derby. In comparison to Country House, Justify is a bigger horse who proved to perform even under the harshest conditions. 

Always Dreaming — 2017 Kentucky Derby Winner

Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Kentucky Derby Time: 2:03.59
Derby Odds: 9-2
Won by: 2 3/4 lengths

Rainfall and muddy tracks have become synonymous with the Kentucky Derby over the last three years, and it all started with the 2017 edition of "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports." 

Always Dreaming was the first to defy the poor conditions, posting an impressive 2:03.59 time that even outpaced Country House. 

Nyquist — 2016 Kentucky Derby Winner

Trainer: Doug O'Neill
Kentucky Derby Time: 2:01.31
Derby Odds: 2-1 (favorite)
Won by: 1 1/4 lengths

Nyquist turned out to be the fastest horse of the most recent winners. His 2:01.31 winning time in the 2016 Kentucky Derby ranks 14th all-time and was the quickest victory time since 2003. For those keeping track of the weather, this was the last Derby to be run on a dry track, which would explain the best performance out of this list.

American Pharoah — 2015 Kentucky Derby Winner

Trainer: Bob Baffert
Kentucky Derby Time: 2:03.02
Derby Odds: 5-2 (favorite)
Won by: 1 length

Nobody remembers American Pharoah for his winning Derby time, or his Churchill Downs performance at all. Pharoah will be referred to as the horse to break the 37-year Triple Crown drought, morphing all three of his performances into a collective memory. 

In comparison to Country House, American Pharoah won the Derby by almost one full second over the most recent champion. 

California Chrome — 2014 Kentucky Derby Winner

Trainer: Bill Mott
Kentucky Derby Time: 2:03.66
Derby Odds: 5-2 (favorite)
Won by: 1 3/4 lengths

The 140th running of the Kentucky Derby featured the most dominant performance in recent memory. Without a late surge second-place finisher Commanding Curve in the final seconds, California Chrome was on pace to win the Kentucky Derby by three lengths at least. 

While it's considered a great showing from California Chrome against a top group of competitors, his time is barely faster than what Country House ran this year. 

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