Even the horses running in the 2015 Kentucky Derby have rules

Churchill_Downs_entranceThe 2015 Road to the Kentucky Derby has rules, so here are some so you will understand how the point system works. Horse racing just loves that first Saturday in May.

TIEBREAKERS – If two or more horses have the same number of points, the tiebreaker is earnings in non-restricted stakes races. In the case of remaining ties, the additional starter(s) and/or also-eligible horses shall be determined by lot (aka a “shake”).

FILLIES – If a filly wants to run in the Kentucky Derby she can, but she’ll have to earn her way into the field by accumulating points against open company just like the rest of the colts and geldings. 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 (tie) 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.

NOMINATIONS – Horses born in 2012 can be made eligible to run in the 2015 Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown with a $600 early payment due by Jan. 17, 2015. A late period for nominations at $6,000 each will be open Jan. 18, 2015 through March 23, 2015. In addition to the Triple Crown nomination fee, owners must pay $25,000 to enter the Derby by 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, and an additional $25,000 to start. A horse not nominated to the Triple Crown with sufficient points may be supplemented for $200,000.

POST POSITION DRAW – The Kentucky Derby post position draw – a traditional “pill pull” in which horses’ entry blanks are pulled simultaneously with a numbered pill to determine what stall a horse will break from the starting gate – will be held at Churchill Downs on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, at 5 p.m. ET (live on
NBCSN). Up to 24 horses may enter the race and four horses can be listed as “also eligible” and would be ranked in order accordingly; they could draw into the field should any horse(s) be scratched before scratch time on Friday, May 1, 2015 at 9 a.m. ET.

PRIZE MONEY – The Kentucky Derby winner will receive a gold trophy plus an estimated $1.24 million payday. A total of $400,000 will be awarded to the runner-up, $200,000 to third, $100,000 to fourth and $60,000 to fifth.

BACKGROUND – Churchill Downs abandoned the graded stakes earnings criteria for the 2013 Kentucky Derby (used from 1986-2012) and proactively adopted a tiered point system to determine which horses would have preference for America’s greatest race. Today, a sliding scale of points is awarded to the Top 4 finishers in select races, and at the series’ end, the Top 20 point earners get first crack to start in the Kentucky Derby.