June 14, 2012

Kentucky Derby Changes Selection Method

One of the oldest sports in running (138 years and going strong), the Kentucky Derby (ahem.. presented by Yum Brands as it is usually touted nowadays) is changing its method of selection. It used to winnings from graded stakes of the top 20 horses from over 185 races, but now that system is being changed to a points system from about 36 races.

USA today is covering it in full.

The main goal is also to get 20 horses that are in the best form to qualify for the Derby and reduce chances of one hit wonders or horses that have won big at distances shorter than 1 mile to come into the Derby.

The campaign of races leading up to the Derby is being divided into four phases.
The first is called the Kentucky Derby Prep Season, typically spanning stakes from late September through late February. .
Then follows a "Kentucky Derby Championship Season", which typically will span the 10-week run-up to the Derby. The phase highlights mostly traditional prep races.
That's followed by the most important phase of the Kentucky Derby Championship Season. The races in this stage encompass the biggest events: the Florida Derby, Wood Memorial, Santa Anita DerbyArkansas Derby, Toyota Blue Grass and Louisiana Derby, while also including the $2 million U.A.E. Derby in Dubai. Those races will offer a 100-40-20-10 point scale.
Finally, there's a last chance "wild-card" setup which features Keeneland's Lexington Stakes, two weeks before the Derby, and Churchill Downs' opening-night Derby Trial, a week before the Kentucky Derby.
What do you think? Add your comments on whether you think this is a good thing or bad thing or "change is always good" ..

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