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Kentucky Derby Road Schedule, Points


Races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby


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Derby Points Leaderboard
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, but  supplemented instead, gained the same footing as nominees. In other words, if such a horse has sufficient points, said horse makes the Kentucky Derby field. Previously, nominated horses had preference over supplemented horses.

In 2020, Necker Island had the lowest point total among the starters with 14, but only 15 ran after an elongated road to the Kentucky Derby resulted in much attrition among the 3-year-old crop. He finished ninth, beaten 14 3/4 lengths, at 49-1 odds.

In 2019, Bodexpress finished 14th after making the field last with 40 points.Outshine also had 40 points, but he ranked ahead of Bodexpress with more non-restricted stakes earnings.

In 2018, Instilled Regard had the fewest points in the field with 29, and he finished fourth.

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 first year of the Derby points system, 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. If the purse is affected in some other manner, Churchill Downs has the discretion to make a decision before the races are run to award points as it sees fit.

Derby Points Leaderboard - Last updated April 3, 2021

 

 
ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY RACES -- POINTS DETAILS
 
Prep Season
 

Date

Race

 Track

 Distance

 10 Points

 4 Points

 2 Points

 1 Point

Sept. 5

 Iroquois

 Churchill Downs

 1 1/16 Mile

 Sittin on Go

 Midnight Bourbon

 Super Stock

 *Therideofalifetime 

Sept. 26

 American Pharoah

 Santa Anita

 1 1/16 Mile

 Get Her Number

 Rombauer  

 Spielberg

 Waspirant

Oct. 3

 Breeders’ Futurity

 Keeneland

 1 1/16 Mile

 Essential Quality

 Keepmeinmind

  Super Stock

 *Upstriker

Oct. 10

 Champagne

 Belmont Park

 1 Mile

 Jackie's Warrior

 Reinvestment Risk*

 Midnight Bourbon

  *Civil War

Date
 

 Race  Track  Distance  20 points  8 points  4 points  2 points

Nov. 6

 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

 Santa Anita

 1 1/16 Mile

 Essential Qualithy

 Hot Rod Charlie  Keepmeinmind  Jackie's Warrior

Date
 

 Race  Track  Distance  10 points  4 points  2 points  1 point

Nov. 28

 Kentucky Jockey Club

 Churchill Downs

1 1/16 Mile

 Keepmeinmind

 Smiley Sobotka  Arabian Prince  *Swill

Dec. 5

 Remsen

 Aqueduct

1 1/8 Mile

 Brooklyn Strong

 *Ten for Ten  Known Agenda  Pickin' Time

Dec. 18

 Springboard Mile

 Remington Park

 1 Mile

 Senor Buscador  *Red N Wild   Cowan  Saffa's Day

Dec. 15

 Los Alamitos Futurity

 Los Alamitos

 1 1/16 Mile

 Spielberg

  The Great One  Petruchio  Red Flag

Jan. 1

 Jerome

 Aqueduct

 1 Mile

 Capo Kane

 *Eagle Orb  Hold the Salsa  Swill*

Jan. 2

 Sham

 Santa Anita

 1 Mile

 Life Is Good

 Medina Spirit  Parnelli  Waspirant

Jan. 16

 LeComte

 Fair Grounds

 1 1/16 Mile

 Midnight Bourbon

 Proxy

 Mandaloun

 Santa Cruiser

Jan. 22

 Smarty Jones

 Oaklawn Park

 1 Mile

 Caddo River

 Cowan   Big Thorn  Moonlite Strike

Jan. 30

 Holy Bull

 Gulfstream Park

 1 1/16 Mile

 Greatest Honour

 Tarantino  Prime Factor  Papetu

Jan. 30

 Robert B. Lewis

 Santa Anita

 1 1/16 Mile

 Medina Spirit  Roman Centurion  Hot Rod Charlie  Spielberg

Feb. 6

 Withers  Aqueduct  1 1/8 Mile  Risk Taking  Overtook

 Capo Kane

 *Royal Number

Feb. 6

 Sam F. Davis

 Tampa Bay Downs

 1 1/16 Mile

 Candy Man Rocket

 Nova Rags  Hidden Stash  *Boca Boy

Feb. 13

 El Camino Real Derby

 Golden Gate

 1 1/8 Mile (AW)

 Rombauer

 *Javanica  Govenor's Party*  It's My House*

Feb. 26

 John Battaglia Memorial  Turfway Park  1 1/16 Mile  Hush of a Storm  Like the King  Gretzky the Great  *Hard Rye Guy

Feb. 27

 Southwest  Oaklawn Park  1 1/16 Mile  Essential Quality  Spielberg  Jackie's Warrior  *Woodhouse

Race dates are subject to change

(AW) = All-weather track

*Not early-nominated to the Triple Crown    +Late nominated to the Triple Crown

Championship Series

 Date

 Race

 Track

 Distance

 50 Points

 20 Points

 10 Points

 5 Points

Feb. 13

 Risen Star

 Fair Grounds

1 1/8 Mile

 Mandaloun

 Proxy  Midnight Bourbon  O Besos

Feb. 27

 Fountain of Youth

 Gulfstream Park

 1 1/16 Mile

 Greatest Honour

 Drain the Clock*  Papetu  Tarantino

March 6

 Gotham

 Aqueduct

 1 Mile

 +Weyburn

  Crowded Trade

 Highly Motivated  Freedom Fighter

March 6

 Tampa Bay Derby

 Tampa Bay Downs

 1 1/16 Mile

 +Helium

 Hidden Stash  Moonlite Strike

 Unbridled Honor

March 6

 San Felipe

 Santa Anita

 1 1/16 Mile

 Life Is Good

 Medina Spirt

 Dream Shake  Roman Centurian

March 13

 Rebel

 Oaklawn Park

 1 1/16 Mile

 Concert Tour

 Hozier  Big Lake  Super Stock
super  Date

 Race

 Track  Distance  100 points  40 points  20 points  10 points
March 20

 Louisiana Derby

 Fair Grounds  1 3/16 Mile  Hot Rod Charlie  Midnight Bourbon  O Besos  Proxy

March 27

 UAE Derby

 Meydan Racecourse

 ~1 3/16 Mile

 Rebel's Romance

 +Panadol

 *New Treasure

 *Takeru Pegasus

March 27

 Florida Derby

 Gulfstream Park

 1 1/8 Mile

 Known Agenda

 Soup and Sandwich  Greatest Honour  Nova Rags

March 27

 Jeff Ruby Steaks  Turfway Park  1 1/8 Mile (AW)  Like the King  Sainthood  +Hockey Dad  *Hard Rye Guy

Date
 

 Race  Track  Distance  50 Points  20 Points  10 Points  5 Points

March 30

 Sunland Derby

 Sunland Park

 1 1/8 Mile  canceled      

Date
 

 Race  Track  Distance  100 Points  40 Points  20 Points  10 Points

April 3

 Blue Grass

 Keeneland

 1 1/8 Mile

 Essential Quality

 Highly Motivated

 Rombauer

 Hidden Stash

April 3

 Wood Memorial  Aqueduct  1 1/8 Mile  Bourbonic  Dynamic One  Crowded Trade  +Weyburn

April 3

 Santa Anita Derby

 Santa Anita

 1 1/8 Mile

 Rock Your World

 Medina Spirit

 Dream Shake

 Defunded

April 10

 Arkansas Derby

 Oaklawn Park

 1 1/8 Mile

       
Date

 Race

 Track  Distance  20 points  8 points  4 points  2 points
 April 10

 Lexington

 Keeneland  1 1/16 Mile        

Race dates are subject to change

(AW) = All-weather track

*Not nominated to the Triple Crown    +Late nominated to the Triple Crown

 

European Road to the Kentucky Derby

According to Churchill Downs, 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, the horse in fourth may accept. No other invitations will be extended.

 Date

 Race

 Track

Distance

 10 Points

 4 Points

 2 Points

1 Point

Sept. 26

 The Royal Lodge

 Newmarket (GB)

 1 Mile (T)

 *New Mandate

 *Ontario

 *Cobh

 *Gear Up

Sept. 26

 Beresford

 The Curragh (Ire)

 1 Mile (T)

 *High Definition

 *Monaasib  *Snapraeterea  *Sir Lucan
               

Oct. 4

 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère

 Longchamp (Fr)

 ~1 Mile (T)

 *Sealiway

 *Nando Parrado  *Laws of Indices  *Liibertine

Oct. 24

 Vertem Futurity Trophy

 Doncaster (GB)

 1 Mile (T)

 *Mac Swiney

  *One Ruler  *Baradar  *Cobh

Date
 

 Race  Track  Distance  20 points  8 points  4 points  2 points
 March 3  Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes  Kempton Park (GB)  1 Mile (S)  *Highland Avenue  *Sergeant Tibbs  *Oo De Lally  *Bodroy
March 5  Patton (listed)

 Kempton Park (GB)

 1 Mile (S)  *My Generation  *Rocky Sky  *Messidor   *Rebel Step
Date

 Race
 

 Track  Distance  30 points  12 points  6 points  3 points

April 1

 Cardinal Condition Stakes

 Chelmsford City (GB)

1 Mile (S)

 *Fundamental

 *Qaader

 *Moraaheq

 *Quintillus

Race dates are subject to change

*Not nominated to the Triple Crown

(T) Turf     (S) Synthetic

 

Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby

According to Churchill Downs, one position in the Kentucky Derby will be awarded to the horses with the most points in the “Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby”.

 Date

 Race

 Track

 Distance

 10 Points

 4 Points

 2 Points

 1 Point

Nov. 28

 Cattleya Sho

 Tokyo Racecourse

 ~1 Mile

 Lemon Pop

 *Takeru Pegasus  *Plus Ultra  *Shin Yogoginesu

Date
 

 Race  Track  Distance  20 points  8 points  4 points  2 points

Dec. 16

 Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun

 Kawasaki Racecourse

 ~1 Mile

 Alain Barows

 *Ranryo O  *Luce d'Oro  *Taisei Again

Date
 

 Race  Track  Distance  30 points  12 points  6 points  3 points

Feb. 21

 Hyacinth

 Tokyo Racecourse

1 Mile

 La Perouse

 *Probatio  *Ladybug  *Takeru Pegasus

Date
 

 Race  Track  Distance  40 points  16 points  8 points  4 points

March 27

 Fukuryu

 Nakayama Racecourse

1 1/8 Mile

 *God Selection

 *Meisho Murakamo  *Gold Higher  *Taisei Again


Race dates are subject to change

*Not nominated to the Triple Crown

 

 
ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY SUMMARY
 
The Kentucky Derby Prep Season includes races on dirt, for the most part 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 series of races on dirt going two turns over distances of at least 1 1/16 mile (except for the Gotham Stakes) that are held during a two-month run-up to the first Saturday in May. The initial races in this series have a 50-20-10-5 point scale and feed into the major Kentucky Derby launching pads. The final set of races are worth 100-40-20-10 points each. An exception is the Lexington Stakes, which carries 20-8-4-2 points.
 
The Japan Road to the Derby and the European Road to the Derby are separate series, each of which can yield only one entry in the Run for the Roses. The horse with the most points is first eligible. If that horse isn't entered, the horse with the second-highest points total may be entered, and so on down to the horse with the fourth-highest points total, after which no horse is eligible for an automatic berth in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.
 
In 2020, additional races were added because the covid-19 pandemic led to a postponement of the Kentucky Derby from May 2 to Sept. 5.
 
Entries
 
Up to 24 horses may be entered in 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 are eligible to draw into the field with scratches from the top 20.

If two or more horses have the same number of points, the tiebreaker to get into the Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Oaks is 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.