Churchill Downs Unveils Points Schedule For Road to 2020 Kentucky Derby, Oaks

by | 08.22.2019 | 11:47am

The official “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve” will begin Saturday, Sept. 14 at the home of America's greatest race as Churchill Downs stages the $200,000 Iroquois (Grade III) for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on opening weekend of its 11-day September Meet.

The “Road to the Kentucky Derby,” a series of select races that award a sliding scale of points to the Top 4 finishers, has determined preference for its 20-horse Kentucky Derby (Grade I) field since 2013. The 1 ¼-mile classic for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds – which featured a $3 million purse in 2019 – will be run at the historic Louisville, Ky. racetrack for the 146th consecutive year on Saturday, May 2, 2020.

The total number of races in the primary “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series is unchanged from last year's lineup with 35 marquee races scheduled. The Iroquois will again kick off the 19-race “Prep Season,” which features foundation-building races over a minimum of one mile between mid-September and mid-February. Points awarded during the “Prep Season” are worth 10-4-2-1 to the top four placings, respectively, except for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (GI), which is worth twice as much (20-8-4-2).

In addition to the Iroquois and Breeders' Cup Juvenile, “Prep Season” races include the American Pharoah, Breeders' Futurity, Champagne, Kentucky Jockey Club, Remsen, Los Alamitos Futurity, Springboard Mile, Jerome, Sham, Lecomte, Smarty Jones, Withers, Holy Bull, Robert B. Lewis, Sam F. Davis, El Camino Real Derby and Southwest.

The 16-race “Championship Series” comprise springboard events that often bring the 3-year-old picture into sharper focus. Most first leg races offer 50-20-10-5 points to the Top 4 finishers: the Risen Star, Fountain of Youth, Gotham, Tampa Bay Derby, San Felipe, Rebel and Sunland Derby. The most meaningful races are worth 100-40-20-10: the Louisiana Derby, UAE Derby, Florida Derby, Wood Memorial, Blue Grass, Santa Anita Derby and Arkansas Derby. Additionally, the Jeff Ruby Steaks and Lexington offer points on a scale of 20-8-4-2 to the first four placings.

In addition to the primary “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series, there are two separate series that each carve out one spot for a potential horse from Europe and Japan.

The fourth year Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby series again features four races: the Cattleya Sho (10-4-2-1), Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun (20-8-4-2), Hyacinth (30-12-6-3) and Fukuryu (40-16-8-4).

The third-year European Road to the Kentucky Derby again showcases seven races: the Juddmonte Royal Lodge (10-4-2-1), Beresford (10-4-2-1), Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère (10-4-2-1), Vertem Futurity Trophy (10-4-2-1), Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes (20-8-4-2), Patton Stakes (20-8-4-2) and Cardinal Condition Stakes (30-12-6-3).

This is the eighth consecutive year that Churchill Downs has used a point system to determine entrants for its famed Kentucky Derby. At least 20 horses have entered the “Run for the Roses” every year since 2014, and 19 of the last 21 years.

A similar series remains in place to qualify for the Kentucky Derby's sister race, the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on Friday, May 1, 2020. As was the case last year, there will be 30 races for the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” series – 15 “Prep Season” races, which starts with the $200,000 Pocahontas (GII) on Sept. 14 at Churchill Downs, and 15 “Championship Series” races.

2019-20 ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY SCHEDULE
35 Races

Kentucky Derby Prep Season (19 races)

Date Race Racetrack Distance 1st (Points) 2nd (Points) 3rd (Points) 4th (Points)
Sept. 14 Iroquois Churchill Downs 1 1/16 Miles (10) (4) (2) (1)
Sept. 27 American Pharoah Santa Anita 1 1/16 Miles (10) (4) (2) (1)
Oct. 5 Breeders' Futurity Keeneland 1 1/16 Miles (10) (4) (2) (1)
Oct. 5 Champagne Belmont Park 1 Mile (10) (4) (2) (1)
Nov. 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Santa Anita 1 1/16 Miles (20) (8) (4) (2)
Nov. 30 Kentucky Jockey Club Churchill Downs 1 1/16 Miles (10) (4) (2) (1)
Dec. 2019 Remsen Aqueduct 1 1/8 Miles (10) (4) (2) (1)
Dec. 2019 Los Alamitos Futurity Los Alamitos 1 1/16 Miles (10) (4) (2) (1)
Dec. 15 Springboard Mile Remington Park 1 Mile (10) (4) (2) (1)
Jan. 2020 Jerome Aqueduct 1 Mile (10) (4) (2) (1)
Jan. 2020 Sham Santa Anita 1 Mile (10) (4) (2) (1)
Jan. 2020 Lecomte Fair Grounds 1 Mile 70 Yards (10) (4) (2) (1)
Jan. 24 Smarty Jones Oaklawn Park 1 Mile (10) (4) (2) (1)
Feb. 2020 Withers Aqueduct 1 1/8 Miles (10) (4) (2) (1)
Feb. 2020 Holy Bull Gulfstream Park 1 1/16 Miles (10) (4) (2) (1)
Feb. 2020 Robert B. Lewis Santa Anita 1 1/16 Miles (10) (4) (2) (1)
Feb. 2020 Sam F. Davis Tampa Bay Downs 1 1/16 Miles (10) (4) (2) (1)
Feb. 2020 El Camino Real Derby Golden Gate 1 1/8 Miles (AW) (10) (4) (2) (1)
Feb. 17 Southwest Oaklawn Park 1 1/16 Miles (10) (4) (2) (1)

 

Kentucky Derby Championship Series (16 races)

Date Race Racetrack Distance 1st (Points) 2nd (Points) 3rd (Points) 4th (Points)
Feb. 2020 Risen Star Fair Grounds 1 1/16 Miles (50) (20) (10) (5)
March 2020 Fountain of Youth Gulfstream Park 1 1/16 Miles (50) (20) (10) (5)
March 2020 Gotham Aqueduct 1 Mile (50) (20) (10) (5)
March 2020 Tampa Bay Derby Tampa Bay Downs 1 1/16 Miles (50) (20) (10) (5)
March 2020 San Felipe Santa Anita 1 1/16 Miles (50) (20) (10) (5)
March 2020 Jeff Ruby Steaks Turfway Park 1 1/8 Miles (AW) (20) (8) (4) (2)
March 14 Rebel Oaklawn Park 1 1/16 Miles (50) (20) (10) (5)
March 2020 Louisiana Derby Fair Grounds 1 1/8 Miles (100) (40) (20) (10)
March 2020 Sunland Derby Sunland Park 1 1/8 Miles (50) (20) (10) (5)
March 28 UAE Derby Meydan Racecourse 1 3/16 Miles (100) (40) (20) (10)
March 2020 Florida Derby Gulfstream Park 1 1/8 Miles (100) (40) (20) (10)
April 2020 Wood Memorial Aqueduct 1 1/8 Miles (100) (40) (20) (10)
April 2020 Blue Grass Keeneland 1 1/8 Miles (100) (40) (20) (10)
April 2020 Santa Anita Derby Santa Anita 1 1/8 Miles (100) (40) (20) (10)
April 2020 Lexington Keeneland 1 1/16 Miles (20) (8) (4) (2)
April 11 Arkansas Derby Oaklawn Park 1 1/8 Miles (100) (40) (20) (10)

  

2018-19 EUROPEAN ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY SCHEDULE

7 Races

Date Race Racetrack Distance 1st (Points) 2nd (Points) 3rd (Points) 4th (Points)
Sept. 28 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Newmarket (GB) 1 Mile (T) (10) (4) (2) (1)
Sept. 29 Beresford Curragh (Ire) 1 Mile (T) (10) (4) (2) (1)
Oct. 6 Qatar Prix Jean-LucLagardère Longchamp (Fr) 1 Mile (T) (10) (4) (2) (1)
Oct. 26 Vertem Futurity Trophy Doncaster (GB) 1 Mile (T) (10) (4) (2) (1)
March 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes Kempton Park (GB) 1 Mile (AW) (20) (8) (4) (2)
March 2020 Patton (Listed) Dundalk (Ire) 1 Mile (AW) (20) (8) (4) (2)
April 2020 Cardinal Condition Stakes Chelmsford City (GB) 1 Mile (AW) (30) (12) (6) (3)

 

2019-20 JAPAN ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY SCHEDULE

4 Races

 

Date Race Racetrack Distance 1st (Points) 2nd (Points) 3rd (Points) 4th (Points)
Nov. 23 Cattleya Sho Tokyo Racecourse 1 Mile (10) (4) (2) (1)
Dec. 18 Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun Kawasaki Racecourse 1 Mile (20) (8) (4) (2)
TBA 2020 Hyacinth Tokyo Racecourse 1 Mile (30) (12) (6) (3)
TBA 2020 Fukuryu Nakayama Racecourse 1 1/8 Miles (40) (16) (8) (4)

 

2019-20 ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY OAKS SCHEDULE

30 Races

Kentucky Oaks Prep Season (15 races)

Date Race Racetrack Distance 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Sept. 14 Pocahontas Churchill Downs 1 1/16 Miles (10) (4) (2) (1)
Sept. 27 Chandelier Santa Anita 1 1/16 Miles (10) (4) (2) (1)
Oct. 4 Alcibiades Keeneland 1 1/16 Miles (10) (4) (2) (1)
Oct. 6 Frizette Belmont Park 1 Mile (10) (4) (2) (1)
Nov. 1 BC Juvenile Fillies Santa Anita 1 1/16 Miles (20) (8) (4) (2)
Nov. 30 Golden Rod Churchill Downs 1 1/16 Miles (10) (4) (2) (1)
Dec. 2019 Demoiselle Aqueduct 1 1/8 Miles (10) (4) (2) (1)
Dec. 2019 Starlet Los Alamitos 1 1/16 Miles (10) (4) (2) (1)
Jan. 2020 Santa Ynez Santa Anita 7 Furlongs (10) (4) (2) (1)
Jan. 2020 Silverbulletday Fair Grounds 1 Mile 70 Yards (10) (4) (2) (1)
Feb. 2020 Forward Gal Gulfstream Park 7 Furlongs (10) (4) (2) (1)
Feb. 1 Martha Washington Oaklawn Park 1 Mile (10) (4) (2) (1)
Feb. 2020 Busanda Aqueduct 1 1/8 Miles (10) (4) (2) (1)
Feb. 2020 Suncoast Tampa Bay Downs 1 Mile 40 Yards (10) (4) (2) (1)
Feb. 2020 Las Virgenes Santa Anita 1 Mile (10) (4) (2) (1)

 

Kentucky Oaks Championship Series (15 races)

Date Race Racetrack Distance 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Feb. 2020 Rachel Alexandra Fair Grounds 1 1/16 Miles (50) (20) (10) (5)
Feb. 2020 UAE Oaks Meydan Racecourse 1 3/16 Miles (50) (20) (10) (5)
March 2020 Davona Dale Gulfstream Park 1 Mile (50) (20) (10) (5)
March 2020 Busher Invitational Aqueduct 1 Mile (50) (20) (10) (5)
March 2020 Bourbonette Oaks Turfway Park 1 Mile (AW) (20) (8) (4) (2)
March 7 Honeybee Oaklawn Park 1 1/16 Miles (50) (20) (10) (5)
March 2020 Santa Ysabel Santa Anita 1 1/16 Miles (50) (20) (10) (5)
March 2020 Fair Grounds Oaks Fair Grounds 1 1/16 Miles (100) (40) (20) (10)
March 2020 Sunland Park Oaks Sunland Park 1 1/16 Miles (50) (20) (10) (5)
March 2020 Gulfstream Park Oaks Gulfstream Park 1 1/16 Miles (100) (40) (20) (10)
April 2020 Santa Anita Oaks Santa Anita 1 1/16 Miles (100) (40) (20) (10)
April 2020 Gazelle Aqueduct 1 1/8 Miles (100) (40) (20) (10)
April 2020 Ashland Keeneland 1 1/16 Miles (100) (40) (20) (10)
April 2020 Beaumont Keeneland 7 Furlongs (10) (4) (2) (1)
April 10 Fantasy Oaklawn Park 1 1/16 Miles (100) (40) (20) (10)

Schedule subject to change. … (T) = Turf … (AW) = Synthetic … Race dates and distances to be announced by host track; date based on recent historical placement.

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