Trainers coping with new Derby points system

by | 01.17.2013 | 5:38pm

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.”

  • Rachel

    This is an elitist system that spits on grass runners, fillies and anyone who doesn’t brown-nose and kiss the ring of churchill downs. 36 graded stakes out of how many? I love how churchill says it will “tweak” the system…wonder what fiasco will trigger that, lol….probably more of a veiled threat to placate churchill or they will just remove your race from the “36”.

  • Randyp

    How can anyone bet on their early derby pools when you have no idea if your horse will get in!!!!! this new system suck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Don Reed

    The previous pools had exactly the same liability, which is why the odds were so high.

  • Ron Crookham

    Thank you Rachel, I could not have said it any better myself.

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