2013 Road to the Kentucky Derby points

Road to the 2013 Kentucky Derby point system

This weekend marks the beginning in earnest of the “Race for the Points” better known as the “Road to the 2013 Kentucky Derby”.  For the first time, Kentucky Derby prep races are measured in points and depending on how many points each 3 year old thoroughbred received after coming in first, second, third or fourth in certain designated races.  The high point horses will determine who will be in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs.  Who will have the points to be in the 2013 Kentucky Derby?

Points will be at much higher values in the next 2 months.  Hopeful Kentucky Derby trainers are looking closely at the next eight races that will give the first place winner 50 points.  Second place will get 20 points, third place is 10 points, and fourth place is 5 points.

Both the Risen Star Stakes at The FairGrounds in Louisiana and the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park in Florida on Saturday look to have some definite Derby contenders.  The 50 points that the winners will get is 5 times more than the 19 Kentucky Derby prep races that have been run in previous months under the Derby eligibility point system that Churchill Downs enacted this year. Ironically, third place in these two races is worth 10 points, which is what winners earned in those first 19 eligible prep races.

After this weekend, there will be six more Derby prep races using the 50, 20, 10, 5 numbers.  They are the Gotham (Aqueduct), Tampa Bay Derby (Tampa Bay Downs), San Felipe Stakes (Santa Anita), Rebel Stakes (Oaklawn Park), Spiral Stakes (Turfway Park) and Sunland Derby (Sunland Park)

Starting on March 30, the big guns come out. They are worth 100 points to the winner, 40 for second, 20 for third, and 10 point for fourth.  The Florida Derby (Gulfstream Park), U.A.E. Derby (Meydan Racecourse), Louisiana Derby (FairGrounds), Wood Memorial (Aqueduct), Santa Anita Derby (Santa Anita), Arkansas Derby (Oaklawn Park) and Blue Grass (Keeneland) have much bigger points.

If two or more horses have the same number of points, which happens in point systems, the tiebreaker to get into the Kentucky Derby will be earnings in non-restricted stakes races, whether they are graded or not.

Hope you got all of that!  Kentucky Derby Tours also did a blog on last June about the point system – see https://kentuckyderbytours.com/blog/2012/06/14/new-system-for-horses-to-qualify-for-the-2013-kentucky-derby/