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Kentucky Derby Qualifying Revamped

Posted by Matt Cullen on Fri, Jun 22, 2012 @ 09:18 AM

The Road to the Kentucky Derby


Churchill Downs®
has revamped the qualifying system for the 139-year-old Kentucky Derby®. The change will abandon the graded stakes earnings system it has used since 1986 to determine which 20 horses qualify for the Derby. Under the new format, points will be used to determine who will qualify for the “Run for the Roses.”

Branded the “Road to the Kentucky Derby,” the new system was announced June 14 at an annual meeting of shareholders for Churchill Downs Inc. It will feature 36 stakes including 17 marquee events known as the "Kentucky Derby Championship Series."

The Kentucky Oaks will utilize a similar point system to select its field of 14 fillies and both systems will go into effect in 2013.

Explaining the New System

The new series will be divided into two phases offering different point values to the top four finishers in each race.

Phase One

Phase One, now called the "Kentucky Derby Prep Season," will includes 19 races on dirt or synthetic surfaces over distances of at least one mile. These races will take place between late September 2012, and late February 2013. The top four finishers in each race will receive points for each race on a 10-4-2-1 scale. First place receiving 10 points, second place receiving 4 points, etc.

Phase Two

Phase two is a little more complicated.

Now called the "Kentucky Derby Championship Series," phase two is a three-part collection of 17 marquee races run over distances of one mile occurring over a 10-week run up to first Saturday in May. As the races get closer to the Kentucky Derby® date, the points will increase for the top four finishers making these races even more valuable in hopes of qualifying.

The first leg of the Championship series will include eight races where the top four finishers will receive points on a 50-20-10-5 scale. The second leg features seven stakes races that award the top four finishers points on a 100-40-20-10 scale. The final leg will include two “Wild Card” races, the Lexington Stakes and The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial, which will offer hopes for horses to increase their point totals at the last minute. These races will award the top four finishers point totals on a 20-8-4-2 scale. *See the Race Schedule Below for a Points Breakdown*

The top 20 point earners will earn in a spot in the Kentucky Derby®. The next four point earners will be declared "also eligible" with the potential of drawing into the field if a starting horse is scratched. If there is a points tie between any of the horses, the tie breaker will be earnings in non-restricted stakes races.

Similar to the points systems used in NASCAR and on the PGA Tour, the Road to the Kentucky Derby system is much easier to understand and will add transparency to the Kentucky Derby® and Kentucky Oaks qualifying.

Road to the Derby StandingsRoad to the Kentucky Derby Schedule

Updated 1/30/2013

ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY

KENTUCKY  DERBY PREP SEASON

Race Date Track Location 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Juddmonte Royal Lodge 9/29/12 Newmarket England 10 4 2 1
FrontRunner 9/29/12 Santa Anita California 10 4 2 1
Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity 10/6/12 Keeneland Kentucky 10 4 2 1
Foxwoods Champagne 10/6/12 Belmont Park New York 10 4 2 1
Grey 10/7/12 Woodbine Canada 10 4 2 1
Grey Goose Juvenile 11/3/12 Santa Anita California 10 4 2 1
Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes 11/17/12 Delta Downs Louisiana 10 4 2 1
Remsen Stakes 11/24/12 Aqueduct New York 10 4 2 1
Kentucky Jockey Club 11/24/12 Churchill Downs Kentucky 10 4 2 1
CashCall Futurity 12/15/12 Hollywood Park California 10 4 2 1
Sham  1/5/13 Santa Anita Park California 10 4 2 1
Lecomte  1/19/13 Fair Grounds Louisiana 10 4 2 1
Smarty Jones  1/21/13 Oaklawn Park Arkansas 10 4 2 1
Holy Bull  1/26/13 Gulfstream Park Florida 10 4 2 1
Robert B. Lewis  2/2/13 Santa Anita Park California 10 4 2 1
Sam F. Davis 2/2/13 Tampa Bay  Florida 10 4 2 1
Withers  2/2/13 Aqueduct New York 10 4 2 1
El Camino Real Derby  2/16/13 Golden Gate California 10 4 2 1
Southwest 2/18/13 Oaklawn Park Arkansas 10 4 2 1

KENTUCKY  DERBY CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

Race Date Track Location 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
First Leg of Series              
Risen Star  2/23/13 Fair Grounds Louisiana 50 20 10 5
Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth  2/23/13 Gulfstream Park Florida 50 20 10 5
Gotham  3/2/13 Aqueduct New York 50 20 10 5
Tampa Bay Derby  3/9/13 Tampa Bay Downs Florida 50 20 10 5
San Felipe  3/9/13 Santa Anita Park California 50 20 10 5
Rebel  3/16/13 Oaklawn Park Arkansas 50 20 10 5
Spiral  3/23/13 Turfway Park Kentucky 50 20 10 5
Sunland Derby  3/24/13 Sunland Park New Mexico 50 20 10 5
Second Leg of Series              
Florida Derby  3/30/13 Gulfstream Park Florida 100 40 20 10
UAE Derby  3/30/13 Meydan Racecourse Dubai 100 40 20 10
Louisiana Derby  3/30/13 Fair Grounds Louisiana 100 40 20 10
Wood Memorial  4/6/13 Aqueduct New York 100 40 20 10
Santa Anita Derby  4/6/13 Santa Anita Park California 100 40 20 10
Arkansas Derby  4/13/13 Oaklawn Park Arkansas 100 40 20 10
Blue Grass  4/13/13 Keeneland Kentucky 100 40 20 10
“Wild Card”              
Lexington  4/20/13 Keeneland Kentucky 20 8 4 2
Derby Trial  4/27/13 Churchill Downs Kentucky 20 8 4 2

 

ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY OAKS

KENTUCKY  OAKS PREP SEASON

Race Date Track Location 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Shadwell Fillies Mile  9/28/12 Newmarket England 10 4 2 1
Chandelier 9/29/12 Santa Anita Park California 10 4 2 1
Darley Alcibiades Stakes 10/5/12 Keeneland Kentucky 10 4 2 1
Frizette  10/6/12 Belmont Park New York 10 4 2 1
Mazarine Stakes 10/6/12 Woodbine Canada 10 4 2 1
Pocahontas Stakes  10/28/12 Churchill Downs Kentucky 10 4 2 1
Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies 11/2/12 Oak Tree at Santa Anita California 10 4 2 1
Delta Downs Princess Stakes  11/17/12 Delta Downs Louisiana 10 4 2 1
Demoiselle Stakes  11/24/12 Aqueduct New York 10 4 2 1
Golden Rod Stakes  11/24/12 Churchill Downs Kentucky 10 4 2 1
Hollywood Starlet  12/8/12 Hollywood Park California 10 4 2 1
Old Hat  1/1/13 Gulfstream Park Florida 10 4 2 1
Bushanda  1/5/13 Aqueduct New York 10 4 2 1
Silverbulletday  1/19/13 Fair Grounds Louisiana 10 4 2 1
Santa Ynez  1/21/13 Santa Anita Park California 10 4 2 1
Santa Ysabel  1/26/13 Santa Anita Park California 10 4 2 1
Forward Gal  1/26/13 Gulfstream Park Florida 10 4 2 1
UAE 1000 Guineas  2/7/13 Meydan Dubai 10 4 2 1
California Oaks  2/9/13 Golden Gate California 10 4 2 1
Martha Washington  2/9/13 Oaklawn Park Arkansas 10 4 2 1

KENTUCKY  OAKS CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

Race Date Track Location 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
First Leg of Series              
Davona Dale  2/23/13 Gulfstream Park Florida 50 20 10 5
Rachel Alexandra  2/23/13 Fair Grounds Louisiana 50 20 10 5
UAE Oaks  2/28/13 Meydan Dubai 50 20 10 5
Las Virgenes  3/2/13 Santa Anita Park California 50 20 10 5
Honeybee  3/9/13 Oaklawn Park Arkansas 50 20 10 5
Cicada  3/16/13 Aqueduct New York 50 20 10 5
Bourbonette Oaks  3/23/13 Turfway Park Kentucky 50 20 10 5
Sunland Park Oaks  3/24/13 Sunland Park New Mexico 50 20 10 5
Second Leg of Series              
Fair Grounds Oaks  3/30/13 Fair Grounds Louisiana 100 40 20 10
Gulfstream Park Oaks  3/30/13 Gulfstream Park Florida 100 40 20 10
Gazelle  4/6/13 Aqueduct New York 100 40 20 10
Ashland  4/6/13 Keeneland Kentucky 100 40 20 10
Santa Anita Oaks  4/6/13 Santa Anita Park California 100 40 20 10
Fantasy  4/10/13 Oaklawn Park Arkansas 100 40 20 10
“Wild Card”              
Beaumont  4/14/13 Keeneland Kentucky 20 8 4 2

 

What do you think about the new Kentucky Derby qualifying system? Share your thoughts below.

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