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2013 Kentucky Derby 139th Edition: congrats to Orb (Shug, Joel, Phipps/Janney)

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  • 2013 Kentucky Derby 139th Edition: congrats to Orb (Shug, Joel, Phipps/Janney)

    After 139-years this is perhaps the most significant overhaul of the Kentucky Derby - and its unlikely everyone will be happy.

    One of the key elements is that not all 2-yr and 3-yr graded races globally (approx 185 acres) will have any means, even if a horse is victorious, to gain eligibility. Rather Churchill Downs has culled it down to about only 36-races which is a move likely is really get some tracks irate.

    From those 36-races there will be a points system interwoven into four "seasons" or phases. For a host of reasons the CD folks think emulating a NASCAR type of program will endear fans to the sport and make then follow the path to the Derby more.

    From the Courier-Journal to explain the phases:

    The first is called the Kentucky Derby Prep Season, typically spanning stakes from late September through late February. That will offer a 10-4-2-1 point scale for the top four finishers.

    Next is the first of a three-phase Kentucky Derby Championship Season, which typically will span the 10-week run-up to the Derby. Races in the first phase of the Championship Season will offer a 50-20-10-5 point scale.

    That’s followed by the most important part of the Championship Season. These races will encompass the biggest events: the Florida Derby, Wood Memorial, Santa Anita Derby, Arkansas Derby, Toyota Blue Grass and Louisiana Derby, while also including the $2 million UAE Derby in Dubai. Those races will offer a 100-40-20-10 point scale.

    Finally, there’s a last chance “wild-card setup” — Keeneland’s Lexington Stakes two weeks before the Derby and Churchill Downs’ opening-night Derby Trial a week before the Run for the Roses. Those points (20-8-4-2) could put a “bubble” horse over the top.
    As is notable:

    1 - Still max field of 20-horses
    2 - No races restricted to fillies will generate Derby points
    3 - No races under 1-mile are part of the 36-races
    4 - Winning a single mega-pursed race on the list but that alone ensures nothing
    5 - Only 1 grass race is recognized is in Britain: Newmarket’s Royal Lodge Stakes
    6 - Aside from the grass race above, only 2 additional races outside of the US will be recognized (with points): Canada’s Grey Stakes for 2-year-olds and Dubai’s U.A.E. Derby in late March.

    As noted some tracks will be rather unhappy - example Hawthorne in Chicago (long time rival to Arlington Park, owned by CD) gets the shaft as the $500k Grade 2 Illinois Derby, held during the height of the prep-races, is not among the list of points-earning races. Despite having sent both a Kentucky Derby winning horse and a few runners in recent years.
    Last edited by Glimmerglass; May. 5, 2013, 06:34 PM. Reason: Road to the 2013 Kentucky Derby

  • #2
    t is very lightly veiled boycott of competitor's race tracks. They lost out on cash by withholding their signal so instead they create a system where unfavored track's races don't count. I hope this bites them in the butt big time.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home


    • #3
      Considering the Derby's 12 furlongs on honest-to-God dirt, I don't see WHY they should include shorter races or more grass races.

      And I'd love it if the Derby Trial were actually, you know, a Derby TRIAL again.
      Author Page
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      • #4
        I'd worry about anti-trust implications if the majority of the point winning races come on CD owned tracks or HRTV affiliated tracks.
        "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
        Thread killer Extraordinaire


        • Original Poster

          (pdf) Here are the races 'recognized' and the respective points'

          e.g. Finishing 4th in the Blue Grass Stakes (Apr @ Keeneland) yields 10-points. Whereas finishing 4th in the Remsen Stakes (Nov @ Aqueduct) is just 1-point


          • #6
            Which is ridiculous, because the Remsen has traditionally been at the very top of the two year races. This has a huge potential to change the way two year olds and three years carry out their campaigns. And it will have an enormous impact on tracks.

            Why couldn't they just put in a point system that gives a different number of points for the grades of races. G1 is worth x points; G2, x-5; G-3 x-10. That way it wouldn't look as if CD is picking and choosing among its competitors.
            "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
            Thread killer Extraordinaire


            • #7
              Wow - The Hopeful is out?!?
              But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson


              • #8
                Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                Why couldn't they just put in a point system that gives a different number of points for the grades of races. G1 is worth x points; G2, x-5; G-3 x-10. That way it wouldn't look as if CD is picking and choosing among its competitors.
                But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson


                • #9
                  Have you decoded the pattern yet? It's pretty obvious.
                  McDowell Racing Stables

                  Home Away From Home


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by CVPeg View Post
                    Wow - The Hopeful is out?!?
                    Indeed as it looks like no Saratoga races have any relevance. However, the upside is that the Kentucky Derby history rich laden Grey up in Woodbine on polytrack is a recognized race
                    Last edited by Glimmerglass; Jun. 14, 2012, 12:38 PM.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                      t is very lightly veiled boycott of competitor's race tracks. They lost out on cash by withholding their signal so instead they create a system where unfavored track's races don't count. I hope this bites them in the butt big time.
                      ^^ this.


                      • #12
                        Seems to me this new system would also eliminate quite a few overseas contenders?
                        \"Horses lend us the wings we lack\"


                        • #13
                          Seems to me this would open up scheduling a race the same day elsewhere in competition to the KD without all these restrictions and with a bigger purse.


                          • #14
                            They might as well stop the sham and say that only races at tracks they own will count.
                            McDowell Racing Stables

                            Home Away From Home


                            • #15
                              Does the Kentucky Racing Commission have any say in this? How about the JC?

                              Yet another reason for federal regulation of horse racing, since the interstate implications are huge.

                              The announcement isn't official yet, is it? The Courier-Journal broke the story, so there is still time for CD to rethink.
                              "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                              Thread killer Extraordinaire


                              • Original Poster

                                This somewhat says it all: DRF tweet:

                                CD prez Flanery: Under old system, "Someone else [was] controlling the path to the Derby."
                                I'm not sure who they thought was driving the bus before. Looking over the last few years outside of a few anomalies most horses in the Derby appeared in the races they identified. Now it just appears they want any outsider to be totally shut down. Whatever happened to love for the Win and You're In synthetic race in England?

                                An example of a decent running Derby starter:

                                Dullahan (3rd in the Derby) would've come in with 111 points.
                                1 from the BC JV; 0 from the Palm Beach; 100 from the Blue Grass win; 0 from the With Anticipation Stakes; and 10 points from the Breeders' Futurity (Keene)

                                Union Rags (7th in the Derby) would've come in with points with 84 points.
                                0 from the Saratoga Special; 10 for the Champagne; 4 for the BC JV; 50 for the Fountain of Youth; 20 in the FL Derby

                                Fillies already few and far between will be just even more so:

                                1980 winner - Genuine Risk - likely would've been on the bubble at best with just a total of 20 points by way of 3rd place in the Wood Memorial.

                                1988 winner - Winning Colors - I suspect would've made the cut with 100 points via her Santa Anita Derby victory


                                • Original Poster

                                  Another Derby runner who was a winner: Funny Cide would've had just 60 points.

                                  (no applicable races at 2); 0 for Holy Bull; 20 for Louisiana Derby; 40 for Wood Memorial


                                  • #18
                                    CD owned tracks have not ever played a big role and don't appear to under this set of rules. Their 2yo races (Iroquios and Jockey Club S) are not going to have much punch.

                                    No sprints will count so 2yo races prior to September are meaningless. Filly races don't count so fillies will have to take on males before the Derby to become eligible.

                                    As silly as this plan is, Churchill Downs owns the Derby and can do as it pleases with it. As much as I'd prefer more unity and consistency, the last thing I'd favor is some government entity plunging it's fist into racing. As a racing participant in NY I can assure you, it's not a good idea.

                                    Also, applying the points system retroactively doesn't work because trainers most likely would have taken slightly different paths has the points system been in place. My big issue is that CD is influencing the significance of other tracks' major events.
                                    F O.B
                                    Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                                    Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique


                                    • #19
                                      I know they own the Fairgrounds in NOLA.

                                      What relationship do the tracks that got selected have with HRTV? Which, as I understand it, is owned by CD and others.
                                      "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                                      Thread killer Extraordinaire


                                      • Original Poster

                                        DRF 6-14-12 "Trainers skeptical of Kentucky Derby eligibility changes" examples ...
                                        Steve Asmussen was adamant in his opinion that the new rules are overwrought and unnecessary. Graham Motion said he was particularly puzzled by the downgrading of the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park, a race he used the last two years with Animal Kingdom (winner of the 2011 Derby) and Went the Day Well (fourth in 2012).

                                        Todd Pletcher: “I guess my question is this: ‘Was the previous system really flawed where it left someone out?’ A couple of years ago [in 2006], I had Sunriver, who was 21st (on the earnings list). I didn’t feel like I had a gripe. He was third in the Florida Derby, he didn’t get in, we moved on.

                                        “I see the potential for this to leave out a good horse. Maybe, I’ll be proven wrong, but the previous system didn’t leave out the winner.”
                                        Btw I was incorrect on Funny Cide having just 60. I forgot that while he finished 3rd in the Louisiana Derby he was actually moved up to 2nd for interference. His total would've been 80 points.

                                        In regards to Mine That Bird - trainer Chip Wooley isn't a fan of the new system:

                                        Chip Wooley, who trained Mine That Bird to win the Derby, finish second in the Preakness Stakes (G1), and third in the Belmont Stakes (G1), expressed displeasure with the new system on his Facebook page.

                                        "Under this new system, Mine That Bird, who ran 1-2-3 in the Triple Crown and beat the [Santa Anita, Arkansas, Florida, and Louisiana Derby winners] in consecutive races would not have gotten to run in the Derby," Wooley wrote. "In Nascar you can change tires, rebuild your engine, and run week to week. Horses have a very limited number of races in them. Especially horses at this level."
                                        Other recent year horses that won the Derby but were otherwise unremarkable in their preps and likely would've been a bubble horse at best.

                                        1999 — Charismatic — 34 points
                                        El Camino Real Derby (G3) — second, four points
                                        Santa Anita Derby (G1) — fourth, ten points
                                        Lexington Stakes (G2) — first, 20 points

                                        2002 — War Emblem — 0 points
                                        LeComte Stakes — fifth, zero points
                                        Risen Star Stakes (G3) — sixth, zero points

                                        2005 — Giacomo — 36 points
                                        Hollywood Futurity (G1) — second, four points
                                        Sham Stakes — third, two points
                                        San Felipe Stakes (G2) — second, 20 points
                                        Santa Anita Derby (G1) — fourth, ten points

                                        2011 — Animal Kingdom — 50 points
                                        Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (G3) — first, 50 points