New prep schedule unveiled for Kentucky Derby qualifying

Photo: Churchill Downs
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -- Churchill Downs has released a preliminary list of races that could be used as an extension of the Road to the Kentucky Derby prep schedule, pending agreement by the host tracks.

The Kentucky Derby has been rescheduled to September 5 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Churchill Downs released the following statement about the extension of the Road to the Kentucky Derby:

Additionally, the first race in the extended series, the $150,000 Matt Winn (Grade III) on May 23 at Churchill Downs, will have Top 4 points raised from the previously announced 10-4-2-1 to 50-20-10-5.

“Based on measured interest from horsemen and limited racing opportunities for 3-year-olds across the country, the Matt Winn at the home of the Kentucky Derby appears to be the lone race in May on the national calendar for horsemen to use as a prep to possible important stakes engagements in mid-to-late June,” said Mike
Ziegler, Churchill Downs Incorporated’s Executive Director of Racing.

“For that reason, we’re pleased to be able to fill the void and raise the significance of the Matt Winn.”

The other two legs of horse racing’s Triple Crown – the Preakness (GI) and Belmont (GI) – have yet to be rescheduled. Should those races be scheduled in advance of the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby, points to the Top 4
finishers will be worth 150-60-30-15.

“We’re in the midst of an unprecedented year, and this year’s Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown will be one of the most memorable of our lifetimes,” Ziegler said.

“There are a lot of moving parts and there are still a lot of unanswered questions, including who will be running and when. We’ve had great conversations with our partner racetracks and believe we’ve identified the best extension to a most unique Road to the Kentucky Derby. This will continue to evolve, including date placement, as host tracks firm up their plans.”

The following races, separated by region, have been added to the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Once the New York Racing Association finalizes their stakes schedules, eligible races could be added to the series:

 East: Haskell (100-40-20-10) and Pegasus (20-8-4-2) at Monmouth Park.

 Midwest: Matt Winn (50-20-10-5); Indiana Derby (20-8-4-2); Blue Grass (100-40-20-10); and Ellis Park Derby (50-20-10-5).

 West: Santa Anita Derby (100-40-20-10); Los Alamitos Derby (20-8-4-2); and Del Mar’s Shared Belief (50-20-10-5).

Because this is an unprecedented and fluid situation, all races are subject to change and events could be added or removed. Additionally, the point values for each race will be subject to readjustment based on their proximity to all Triple Crown races.

Adjustments also will be made to the European Road to the Kentucky Derby and Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby in the coming weeks.

Additionally, the following races, separated by region, have been added to the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. Once the New York Racing Association finalizes their stakes schedules, eligible races could be added to the series:

 East: Delaware Oaks (50-20-10-5) and Monmouth Oaks (50-20-10-5).

 Midwest: Dogwood (20-8-4-2); Indiana Oaks (20-8-4-2); Ashland (100-40-20-10); and Beaumont (20-8-4-2).

 West: Santa Anita Oaks (100-40-20-10).