Churchill Downs announces revised “Road to the Kentucky Derby” schedule

Posted By Kimberly French on May 15, 2020

Churchill Downs Racetrack announced on Tuesday (May 12) suggestions for a list of possible events that could be used for an extension of the “Road to the Kentucky Derby.” This list is not final and depends on agreement from the tracks that host these races.


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, 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 146th edition of the 1-1/4 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) has been rescheduled for Saturday (Sept. 5)


The dates of the other two legs of horse racing’s Triple Crown – the Preakness (GI) and Belmont (GI) – are still unknown. If both races should be contested before the 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 Stakes (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 the world is in uncharted waters and this system is pending approval from host tracks, all race dates can change, and events could be added or subtracted. Also, the point systems for all races can alter depending on when the Preakness or Belmont Stakes are scheduled.


Adjustments to the European Road to the Kentucky Derby and Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby will be announced shortly.


Also, three races have been added to the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. When the New York Racing Association announces their schedule, these events 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).
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Kimberly French

Kimberly French is an award winning freelance journalist specializing in horse racing and horse health living in Louisville, KY. Her work has appeared in more than 25 national and international publications. She is currently the editor of Hoof Beats magazine, the official publication of the U.S. Trotting Association and the special assistant to the president for the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

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