Country House became the 111th Kentucky-bred to win the Kentucky Derby (G1), officially finishing three-quarters of a length in front of Code of Honor. He is also the fifth consecutive Derby winner from the Bluegrass State.
Bred by the late Jerry V. Shields, Jr., whose wife Mrs. Maury Shields owns the son of Lookin at Lucky along with Mrs. J. V. McFadden, Jr., E. J. M., and LNJ Foxwoods, Country House earned $1,860,000 to up his total bankroll to $2,120,175. Country House is out of Quake Lake (War Chant) and is a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Mitchell Road.
Faced with breaking from post 18 in the 19-horse field, jockey Flavien Prat did well to guide Country House into a mid-pack position the first time past the finish line. Despite a three to four-wide trip on both turns, Country House was in prime position entering the stretch and had clear running the final quarter-mile.
Despite running well in a trio of Derby preps, Country House was the second-longest price winner of the Run for the Roses, paying $132.40 to his backers.
“He showed up in a big way. I think everybody showed up in a big way,” summed up trainer Bill Mott. “Everybody that’s been in contact with this horse has showed up in a big way. Everybody has done a great job from before the time that I got him. There’s so much that goes into getting these horses to this point, whether it’s the farm people that raise the horse, the people that do the matings.”
“Well, it’s very exciting because Jerry bred the horse. He’s a homebred,” said Mrs. Shields. “And I just thank Billy Mott for training him, Flavien for riding him, and for this incredible win. It will take a while for it to sink in.”