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Horse Racing, Kentucky Derby at The Downey Profile®

 

Kentucky Derby Road Schedule, Points


Races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby


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Road to the Kentucky Derby Races -- Points Details
Road to the Kentucky Derby Summary


Starting in 2013, 3-year-old horses first became eligible to make the Kentucky Derby starting gate using a points system. Before that, priority was given to horses with the most graded stakes earnings.

Once early nominations to the Triple Crown are released, usually in late January, horses not nominated do not appear on the leaderboard for Kentucky Derby qualifying points. After the deadline for late nominations to the Triple Crown expires, usually in late March, horses with potential points made eligible at that time are awarded said points retroactively, just as graded stakes earnings were in the previous eligibility system. Starting in 2014, horses not nominated to the Triple Crown that are supplemented with a payment of $200,000 are on the same footing as early nominees. If such a horse has sufficient points, such a horse will make the Kentucky Derby field. Previously, nominated horses had preference over supplemented horses.

In 2017, the last horse in was the maiden Sonneteer, who had 30 points. He finished 16th.

In 2016, Mo Tom had the fewest Derby points with 32. He finished eighth.

In 2015, Frammento was the last horse to get into the Derby, and he had 20 points. He finished 11th.

In 2014, Vinceremos, Harry's Holiday and Commanding Curve each had the lowest point total with 20. Commanding Curve was the last of the three to make the field due to the tiebreaker rule, earnings in non-restricted stakes races. Commanding Curve blew up the tote board with a second-place finish. Harry's Holiday finished 16th, and Vinceremos finished 17th.

In 2013, the last horse to make the Kentucky Derby field was Giant Finish with 10 points. He outran his points to finish 10th, beaten 13 1/4 lengths.

In 2012, the horse with the lowest amount of graded earnings in the Kentucky Derby was Optimizer with $184,708.  In 2011, it was Derby Kitten, with $120,000. In 2010, it was Make Music for Me, with $218,750. In 2009, Nowhere to Hide had $55,500; in 2008, Denis of Cork had $165,000;  and in 2007, Imawildandcrazyguy had $104,000.

Other Rules According to Churchill Downs

Up to 24 horses may enter the Kentucky Derby, with 20 qualifying for the starting gate. Up to four horses will be listed as “also eligible” and ranked in order. They could draw into the field with scratches from the top 20.

If two or more horses have the same number of points, which can often be the case whenever a point system is introduced, the tiebreaker to get into the Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Oaks will be earnings in non-restricted stakes races, whether they are graded or not. It the tiebreaker is tied, the backup tiebreaker is a hat shake.

FILLIES – Fillies may run in the Kentucky Derby, but they have to earn their way into the field by accumulating points against open company just like the rest of the colts and geldings -- and be nominated to the Triple Crown or supplemented. Additionally, any points earned by a filly in the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series against open company will be credited to her point total in the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” series.
 
DEAD HEATS – In the event of a dead heat in a “Road to the Kentucky Derby” race, those horses will divide equally the points they would have received jointly had one beaten the other.
 
SPLIT DIVISIONS – In the event a “Road to the Kentucky Derby” race is split into divisions and each division awards its originally published purse money, points will be awarded as scheduled for each division. If the originally published purse is halved for each division, points will be halved as well.

 
ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY RACES -- POINTS DETAILS

Nov. 26 NOTE: Some dates subject to change

Kentucky Derby Prep Season

Date Race 10 Points 4 Points 2 Points 1 Point
Sept. 16 Iroquois The Tabulator Hollywood Star Ten City Ebben
Sept. 30 FrontRunner Bolt D'oro Solomini Take The One O One Ayacara
Oct. 7 Champagne Firenze Fire Good Magic Enticed Kowboy Karma
Oct. 7 Breeders’ Futurity Free Drop Billy Bravazo Lone Sailor Lionite
    20 Points 4 Points 2 Points 1 Point
Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Good Magic Solomoni Bolt d'Oro Givemeaminit
    10 Points 4 Points 2 Points 1 Point
Nov. 18 Delta Downs Jackpot (not run in 2017) ----- ----- ----- ------
Nov. 25 Kentucky Jockey Club Enticed Tiz Mischief Promises Fulfilled High North
Dec. 2 Remsen Catholic Boy Avery Island Vouch Alkhaatam
Dec. 9 Los Alamitos Futurity McKinzie Instilled Regard Solomini For Him
Dec. 17 Springboard Mile        
Jan. 1 Jerome        
Jan. 13 Lecomte        
Jan. 13 Sham        
Jan. 15 Smarty Jones        
Feb. 3 Holy Bull        
Feb. 3 Withers        
Feb. 3 Robert B. Lewis        
Feb. 10 Sam F. Davis        
Feb. 17 El Camino Real Derby        
Feb. 19 Southwest        
           

Kentucky Derby Championship Series

Date Race 50 Points 20 Points 10 Points 5 Points
Feb. 17 Risen Star        
March 3 Fountain of Youth        
March 10 Gotham        
March 10 San Felipe        
March 10 Tampa Bay Derby        
March 17  Rebel        
    20 Points 8 Points 4 Points 2 Points
March 17 Spiral        
    50 Points 8 Points 4 Points 2 Points
March 25 Sunland Derby        
    100 Points 40 Points 20 Points 10 Points
March 24 Louisiana Derby        
March 31 UAE Derby        
March 31 Florida Derby        
April 7 Wood Memorial        
April 7 Santa Anita Derby        
April 7 Blue Grass        
April 14 Arkansas Derby        
    20 Points 8 Points 4 Points 2 Points
April 14 Lexington        

Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby (three races)

One position in the Kentucky Derby will be awarded to the horse with the most points in the “Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby”. If the top point-earner declines, the horse with the second-most points may accept. If the second-most point-earner declines, the horse with the third-most points may accept. If that one declines, no other invitation will be extended.

    10 Points 4 Points 2 Points 1 Point
Nov. 25 Cattleya Sho Ruggero (JPN) Mic Ben Hur (JPN) Meiner Yukisubaki (JPN) Bronze Kay (JPN)
Dec. 13 Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun                               Le Vent Se Leve Don Fortis Haseno Pyro Dark Repulser
    30 Points 12 Points 6 Points 3 Points
Feb. 19 Hyacinth        

European Road to the Kentucky Derby (seven races)

One position in the Kentucky Derby will be awarded to the horse with the most points in the “European Road to the Kentucky Derby”. If the top point-earner declines, the horse with the second-most points may accept. If the second-most point-earner declines, the horse with the third-most points may accept. If that one declines, no other invitation will be extended.

    10 Points 4 Points 2 Points 1 Point
Sep 24 Juddmonte Breresford (T) Saxon Warrior (JPN) Delano Roosevelt (IRE) Warm the Voice (IRE) New Gardens (IRE)
Sep 30 Juddmonte Royal Lodge (T) Roaring Lion Nelson (IRE) Mildenberger (GB) Petrus (IRE)
Oct 1 Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (T)              Happily (f) (IRE) Olmedo (FR) Masar (IRE) Woodmax (GER)
Oct 28 Racing Post Trophy (T) Saxon Warrior (JPN) Roaring Lion (KY) The Pentagon (IRE) Verbal Dexterity (IRE)
           
    20 Points 8 Points 4 Points 2 Points
Mar 1 Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes (S)        
Mar 2 Patton Stakes (listed) (S)        
    30 Points 12 Points 6 Points 3 Points
Mar 30 Burradon Stakes (S)        

Italics = Not early-nominated to the Triple Crown

 
 
ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY SUMMARY
 
The Kentucky Derby Prep Season includes races on dirt going two turns over distances of at least one mile that are run between September and mid-February. These races traditionally serve as foundation-building races in advance of the Kentucky Derby Championship Series. Points are awarded to the top four finishers in each race on a 10-4-2-1 scale, except that the Breeders' Cup Juvenile yields twice as many points in each place.

The Kentucky Derby Championship Series is a three-leg series of 16 races on dirt going two turns over distances of at least 1 1/16 mile that are held during a two-month run-up to the first Saturday in May.

The first leg has a 50-20-10-5 point scale and includes eight races, most of which feed into the major Kentucky Derby launching pads. An exception is the Spiral Stakes, which was lowered to a 20-8-4-2 point scale in 2018.

 
The second leg features eight stakes races that are worth 100-40-20-10 points each. An exception is the Lexington Stakes, which carries 20-8-4-2 points.
 
Entries

Up to 24 horses may enter the Kentucky Derby, with 20 qualifying for the starting gate. Up to four horses will be listed as “also eligible” and ranked in order. They could draw into the field with scratches from the top 20.

If two or more horses have the same number of points, which can often be the case whenever a point system is introduced, the tiebreaker to get into the Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Oaks will be earnings in non-restricted stakes races, whether they are graded or not. The next tiebreaker is a hat shake.

In the event of a dead-heat in a Road to the Kentucky Derby race, those horses will divide equally the points they would have received jointly had one beaten the other.
 

 

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