1998 Florida Derby

The 47th Florida Derby was an accident waiting to happen, with the contrary Coronado's Quest running in the six-horse field. But there was another culprit lurking under the rain clouds at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. Lil's Lad, first to the finish line, was a bad actor too, and the stewards disqualified him and made the late-running Cape Town the winner.

There was a curt post-race exchange between Wayne Lukas, the trainer of Cape Town, and Will Farish, one of the owners of Lil's Lad, but most of the principals seemed to agree that the stewards had made the right call. Lil's Lad hung on to finish first by a nose, but he drifted to his right in the last 50 yards and bumped Cape Town near the wire.

"I thought my horse ran good enough to beat [Lil's Lad] legitimately," said Shane Sellers, who rode Cape Town. "The other horse came out and knocked my horse around."

Sellers said that as he and Jerry Bailey, Lil's Lad's jockey, left the track, Bailey knew his horse's number was coming down.

Still, Farish sloughed off Lukas after the race. When Lukas tried to console Lil's Lad's owner, Farish reportedly said, "Wayne, I don't want to hear about it, please."

Then Farish walked off.

The stewards lit the "inquiry" sign shortly after the horses crossed the wire, and Sellers also claimed foul against Lil's Lad. While the judges took a few minutes to decide, Neil Howard, the trainer of Lil's Lad, looked at Lukas and said, "You're going to get it, Wayne. They're going to take me down."

Back at the barn long after the race, Howard said, "I don't have a problem [with the disqualification]. I'm sorry it happened, for the owners' sake, but I agree with the stewards' decision."