The Road to the 140th Kentucky Derby
It's that time of year again! Churchill Downs® has revamped and released the qualifying system for this year's running of the 140th Kentucky Derby. Like last year, Churchill has again left the graded stakes earnings system behind for the new tiered point system. Like last year's "Run for the Roses," qualifiers will be based on points.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby schedule is fairly similar to the previous year. The total number of races is now 34, as one race was taken out of last year's Prep Season, and two races were removed from the Championship Series, which is still divided into two legs.
The Kentucky Oaks will use a similar tiered points system. The Road to the Kentucky Oaks will feature 29 races, 15 in the Prep Season and 14 in the Championship Series, which is also divided into two legs.
Explaining the New System
Like the 139th Kentucky Derby, the Road to the Derby is once again divided into two phases: the Prep Season and the Championship Series.
The Kentucky Derby Prep Season, or Phase One, will consist of 18 races that are at least a mile on dirt or synthetic surfaces. Beginning with Iroquois on September 7, the Prep Season will continue until mid February.
The top four finalists will earn points to contribute to their qualifying for the Kentucky Derby. First place will receive 10 points, second place will receive four, third place will receive two, and fourth place will receive one point.
Phase Two, or the Kentucky Derby Championship Series, consists of 16 marquee races that are also at least the distance of one mile. The series kicks-off with the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park on February 22, and finishes with Lexington on April 19. The points is where things get tricky.
The series is divided into two legs. The top four finishers in the first leg are awarded points on a 50-20-10-5 scale. On the second leg, the points increase to a 100-40-20-10 scale, making these races even more valuable as contenders are racing to qualify. The final race at Lexington returns to the 10-4-2-1 scale, as it is serving as the "wild card" race. See the race schedule below for a points breakdown.
The top 20 contenders will then be offered a spot in the Kentucky Derby®. The next four horses are considered "eligible" if one of the top 20 are scratched. If there happens to be a tie in points, the tie breaker will be earnings in non-restricted stakes races, just like last year.
The Kentucky Oaks has a similar points system that can be viewed below as well.
Road to the Kentucky Derby Schedule
ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY
KENTUCKY DERBY PREP SEASON
|FrontRunner||9/28/13||Santa Anita Park||California||10||4||2||1|
|Champagne||10/5/13||Belmont Park||New York||10||4||2||1|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile||11/2/13||Santa Anita Park||California||10||4||2||1|
|Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes||11/16/13||Delta Downs||Louisiana||10||4||2||1|
|Remsen Stakes||11/30/13||Aqueduct||New York||10||4||2||1|
|Kentucky Jockey Club||11/30/13||Churchill Downs||Kentucky||10||4||2||1|
|Sham||1/4/14||Santa Anita Park||California||10||4||2||1|
|Smarty Jones||1/20/14||Oaklawn Park||Arkansas||10||4||2||1|
|Holy Bull||1/25/14||Gulfstream Park||Florida||10||4||2||1|
|Robert B. Lewis||2/1/14||Santa Anita Park||California||10||4||2||1|
|El Camino Real Derby||2/15/14||Golden Gate||California||10||4||2||1|
KENTUCKY DERBY CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
|First Leg of Series|
|Fountain of Youth||2/22/14||Gulfstream Park||Florida||50||20||10||5|
|Risen Star||2/22/14||Fair Grounds||Louisiana||50||20||10||5|
|Tampa Bay Derby||3/8/14||Tampa Bay Downs||Florida||50||20||10||5|
|San Felipe||3/15/14||Santa Anita Park||California||50||20||10||5|
|Sunland Derby||3/23/14||Sunland Park||New Mexico||50||20||10||5|
|Second Leg of Series|
|Florida Derby||3/29/14||Gulfstream Park||Florida||100||40||20||10|
|Louisiana Derby||3/29/14||Fair Grounds||Louisiana||100||40||20||10|
|UAE Derby||3/29/14||Meydan Racecourse||Dubai||100||40||20||10|
|Wood Memorial||4/5/14||Aqueduct||New York||100||40||20||10|
|Santa Anita Derby||4/5/14||Santa Anita Park||California||100||40||20||10|
|Arkansas Derby||4/12/14||Oaklawn Park||Arkansas||100||40||20||10|
KENTUCKY OAKS PREP SEASON
|Chandelier||9/28/13||Santa Anita Park||California||10||4||2||1|
|Darley Alcibiades Stakes||10/4/13||Keeneland||Kentucky||10||4||2||1|
|Frizette||10/5/13||Belmont Park||New York||10||4||2||1|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies||11/6/13||Santa Anita Park||California||10||4||2||1|
|Delta Downs Princess Stakes||11/16/13||Delta Downs||Louisiana||10||4||2||1|
|Demoiselle Stakes||11/30/13||Aqueduct||New York||10||4||2||1|
|Golden Rod Stakes||11/30/13||Churchill Downs||Kentucky||10||4||2||1|
|Old Hat||1/1/14||Gulfstream Park||Florida||10||4||2||1|
|Santa Ynez||1/20/14||Santa Anita Park||California||10||4||2||1|
|Forward Gal||1/25/14||Gulfstream Park||Florida||10||4||2||1|
|Martha Washington||2/8/14||Oaklawn Park||Arkansas||10||4||2||1|
KENTUCKY OAKS CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
|First Leg of Series|
|Davona Dale||2/22/14||Gulfstream Park||Florida||50||20||10||5|
|Rachel Alexandra||2/22/14||Fair Grounds||Louisiana||50||20||10||5|
|Las Virgenes||3/1/14||Santa Anita Park||California||50||20||10||5|
|Bourbonette Oaks||3/22/14||Turfway Park||Kentucky||50||20||10||5|
|Sunland Park Oaks||3/23/14||Sunland Park||New Mexico||50||20||10||5|
|Second Leg of Series|
|Fair Grounds Oaks||3/29/14||Fair Grounds||Louisiana||100||40||20||10|
|Gulfstream Park Oaks||3/29/14||Gulfstream Park||Florida||100||40||20||10|
|Santa Anita Oaks||4/5/14||Santa Anita Park||California||100||40||20||10|
What do you think about the new Kentucky Derby qualifying system? Share your thoughts below.