Hawthorne Race Course says it was told by Churchill Downs that the Grade III Illinois Derby will not be included on the new “Road to the Derby” points system until at least 2014.
The Illinois Derby is the most notable 3-year-old graded stakes not included in the new 36-stakes race point system that starts on Sept. 27 with the Royal Lodge Stakes in Great Britain. Hawthorne president Tim Carey told the Louisville Courier-Journal that the race will have a purse increase next year so the race can't be excluded in coming years.
“We had verbal discussions with Churchill Downs on it, then we flew down there and met with them face to face, just trying to convince them of the importance of the Illinois Derby to be part of Road to the Derby. Unfortunately it fell on deaf ears,” Carey said.
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