The world of Derby preprations changed completely when Churchill Downs announced its new point system to determine which qualifiers will start in the famed race. Many trainers are still navigating the nuances of the system in its first year, according to the Daily Racing Form.
Todd Pletcher says that he isn't changing the way he manages contenders Overanalyze and Violence based on the system, and instead will stick to his usual gameplan and “hope he has enough points to get in”. Trainer Nick Zito sees the process as more of a chess game than it was before.
“No question,” said Zito, a two-time Derby winner. “If you want to participate in the Derby, you have to backload it. You have to be careful which prep you go in, because you could blow it all in one race.”
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